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3 1833 01053 2940 



— OF— 

Mower County Minnesota 





John H. Skinner, Esq.; Gertrude Ellis Skinner; Nathan E. Banfiold, Esq.; Herbert 
L. Banfield, Esq.; Lafayette French, Esq.; Col. Arthur W. Wright; Arthur W. 
Allen, M. D. ; Grace B. Sherwood ; Lyman D. Baird, Esq. ; Nicholas N. Nichol- 
son, Esq. ; L. N. Griffith, Esq. ; Ralph E. Crane, Esq. ; Jacob S. Decker, Esq. ; 
O. J. Ehoades, Esq.; Col. Charles L. West; 0. J. Simmons, Esq.; Eev. C. D. 
Belden; Prof. George A. Franklin; Jennie G. Keith; Mrs. Lyman A. 
Sherwood; George E. Anderson, Esq.; C. F. Greening, Esq.; Hosmer 
A. Brown, Esq.; Ealph Preseott, Esq.; L. W. Sherman, Esq.; 
William Nordland, Esq. ; Henry Weber, Jr. ; George Sutton, Esq. ; 
Ferdinand G. Eay, Esq.; Lorenzo S. Chapman, Esq.; A. F. 
Stiles, Esq.; Mrs. Ealph E. Crane; Bert A. Johnson, Esq.; 
Paul C. Keith, Esq. ; John C. Hawkins, Esq. ; and many others. 


H. C. COOPER. Jr.. & CO. 











It is with a i'eoliiig of considerable pride and jdeasure lliat the 
publishers present this history for the approval of the people of 
Mower county. The undertaking has not been an easy one and 
the difficulties have been many, so many indeed that this publica- 
tion would not have been possible without the liberal assistance of 
the citizens of the county. The chief contributors and editors 
have given freely of their time and talent ; business men, church 
officials, fraternity, association and corporation officers, maniafac- 
turers, professional men and bankers, often at great personal 
sacrifice, have laid aside their regular duties to write of their 
communities and special interests; educators have written of the 
schools, and men and women in all walks of life have given the 
information at their command, regarding themselves, their fami- 
lies, their activities and their localities. To all of these the 
readers of this work owe a lasting debt of gratitude, and to each 
and every one the publishers extend their heartfelt thanks. 

In handling the vast amount of material gathered for this 
work, it has been the aim of the entire statf to select such matter 
as is authentic, reliable and interesting. Doubtless facts have 
been included that many will deem of little moment, but these 
same facts to others may be of the deepest import. It may be 
also that some facts have been omitted that many readers would 
like to see included. To such readers we can only say that to 
publish every incident in the life of the county would be to issue 
a work of many A^olumes. and in choosing such material as would 
come Avithin the limts of one volume we believe that the matter 
selected is that Avhich will prove of greatest interest to the 
greatest number of readers, and also that which is most woi'thy 
of being handed down to future generations, who in this volume, 
in far distant years, may read of their large-souled, rugged-bodied 
ancestors and predecessors, who gave up the settled peace of 
older communities to brave the rigors of pioneer endeavor. 

A few omissions may be due to some of the people of tlic 
county, themselves, as in several instances repeated requests for 
information iiave met with no response. In such cases informa- 
tion gathered from other sources, while authentic, may be lacking 
in copious detail. 

Before passing hasty judgment on apparent errors, one should 
consider carefully, not relying on tradition or memory. In many 
cases we have found that persons' nu^nories are faulty and tradi- 
tion erroneous when measured by the standard of official records, 
even in the case of comparatively recent events, while in many 
instances families are under the impression that their forebears 
arrived in the county long ])efore it was possible for them to do so. 
We have endeavored to follow a uniform sy.stem of the spelling 
of proper names, althougli various spellings of even the most 
familiar names appear in the ncwsjjapers and records. 

Among the authorities consulted and in many cases quoted 


copiously are : History of Mower County, published in 1884 ; 
Souvenir of Austin, issued by the Austin Herald; Minnesota in 
Three Centuries ; the histories of southern Minnesota counties by 
the editor of the present work ; the various publications of the 
state of Minnesota and the United States government, as well as 
the publications of the Iowa and Minnesota historical societies, 
and many other biographical, historical and archaeological works 
of reference. The files of the newspapers of this and neighboring 
counties have been carefully perused, as have the county, town- 
ship, city, church and village records. Hundreds of minute books 
have been examined and thousands of letters and original manu- 
scripts carefully scanned. To all who have extended us courtesies 
during our search for these records we extend our thanks. To 
John H. and Gertrude Ellis Skinner special thanks are due for 
many writings in this book to which their signatures are not 
affixed, and also for work on the proofs. 

The biographies have all been gathered with care from those 
most interested, and with a few exceptions have been revised and 
corrected by the subject of the biography or by a relative or 
friend. This, however, refers to the dates, and sequence of events, 
all personal estimates being the work of the editors, and inserted 
in biographies onlv after consultation Avith other members of the 

That this history is faultless we do not presume ; it is probably 
not within the power of man to arrange a work of this kind 
without mistakes of one sort or another; that it will meet the 
unqualified approval of all we dare not expect, but we trust that 
the inei'its of the history will ovei'balance any shortcomings that 
may be discovered. 

Our association with the people of IMower county has been a 
most pleasant one. We have conscientiously performed our task, 
and in placing the history in the hands of those Avhom it most 
conceims, our hope is that we have done our work well. 

H. C. COOPER, JR., & CO. 




lutroduction — Location and Area — Surface and Topog- 
raphy — Material Resources 1-5 



Primeval Solitude — Origin of Human Life in Minnesota — - 
The Lowland Mound Builders — The Highland ]\Iound 
Builders — Mower County a Hunting Place for the 
Indians 5-11 


Visit to AVashington — Boundary Lines Between Indian Tribes 
Defined — Territory Now Mower County Included in the 
Sioux Jurisdiction — Second Treaty of Prairie Du Chien 
— Some of Wabasha's Men Killed by the Foxes South of 
Austin in Iowa — Strip of Territory South of j\Iower 
County Ceded by Treaty — The Doty Treaty and Its 
Failure — Treaty of Traverse Des Sioux — Treaty of Men- 
dota, by AYhich Mower County AVas Opened to Settle- 
ment 11-17 



Early Claims of Title — Spain, France and England — Treaties 
and Agreements — The Louisiana Purchase — Indiana — 
Louisiana District — Louisiana Territory — IMissouri Ter- 
ritory — Northwest Territory — Illinois Territory — Alichi- 
gan Territory — Wisconsin Territory — Iowa Territory — 
No Man's Land — Sibley in Congress — IMinnesota Terri- 
tory — Minnesota State — Compiled from Alanuscripts of 
Hon. F. M. Crosby 17-36 



No Evidence That the French Explorers Ever Saw IMower 
County — United States Dragoons the First White ^len 
to Leave a Record of Having Visited This Localitv — 



Expedition of 1835 — Four Companies Under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Stephen W. Kearney, Avith Albert Lea in Com- 
mand of Company I, Cross Mower County Twice — ]Major 
Lawrence Taliaferro, Dr. John Emerson and the Slave, 
Dred Scott, Visit the County in 1836— Henry H. Sibley, 
Alexander Faribault, John C. Fremont and William H. 
Forl)es Here in 1840 — Surveying Party in 1852 — Another 
in 1853 — Township and Section Lines Are Surveyed.. . .37-44 


Colony of the Borderline Between Racine Township and Fill- 
more Colony — Arrivals in Le Roy Township — Early Set- 
tlement in Lyle and Lansing — Settlers of 1854 — Influx 
of Population Begins 44-46 


Mower County Included in Wabasha and Rice Counties — 
Mower County Created — Organized by Governor Gor- 
man — Commissioners Meet at Frankford — Old Election 
Precincts — Township Boundaries 47-53 



Doings of the Consecutive Boards of County Commissioners 
— County Officials — Registers of Deeds — Treasurers — 
Auditors — Sheritifs^ — County Attorneys — Clerks of the 
District Court — Judges of Probate — Superintendents of 
Schools — County Buildings — Location of County Seat — 
County Court House — County Jail — County Poor 
Farm 54-70 



i\Iower County in Seventh and Fourth Council District — 
Fillmore and Mower Counties Made the Eighth Council 
District — First Representative From This County Takes 
His Seat — Constitutional Convention — Mower and Dodge 
Counties Become the Thirteenth Legislative District — 
Mower and Dodge Counties Become the Fifteenth Dis- 
trict — Mower County Becomes the Fourth District — 
Changed to the Third District— Later to the Sixth "Dis-^ 
trict — Congressional Representation 70-78 




Judicial History of IMowei- County — Judges "Who Have Pre- 
sided in the Courts of This District — Their Life, Ability 
and Characteristics — The Men AVho Have Made Up the 
Bar of the County — Notable Cases That Have Been Tried 
Here — By Attorney Lafayette French 78-05 



Old Land Grant Roads "With Extensive Concessions — Road- 
bed Graded Through I\Iower County — Engine Reaches 
Le Roy — Freight Car Passes Through Mower County 
from New York to St. Paul — Later Growth and Develop- 
ment of the Railroad System in tlie County — Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul — Chicago Great Western — Illi- 
nois Central 95-103 



Importance of the Farming Interests of ]\Iower County — 
Character of the Men Who First Came Here — Failure of 
Wheat Crop — Development of Diversified Farming — 
Advantages — Mail and Trading Facilities — Nature of 
the Soil — Sheep and Poultry Breeding — The Pork Indus- 
try — Registered Stock Predominant — Homes of the 
Farmers — Agricultural Societies — Storm and Floods — 
Grange Movement, Insurance Companies 104-117 



Importance of Fruit Growing in ]\Iower County — "Experi- 
ences of a Veteran Horticulturist," by John C. Hawkins 
— Fruit Growing in the Early Days — The Minnesota and 
Mower County Horticultural Societies Organized — Diffi- 
culties Encountered in Developing Mower County as a 
Fruit Growing Section — Persistent Efforts — Oldest 
Orchard in Mower County — Seedlings Raised Here. . .118-122 



State and County School System — First Schools and First 
Districts in Mower County — State Aid — Equipment — 
Literary Societies — ^Meetings for Officers, Teacliers and 
Pupils — Exhibits and Contests — Institutes and Summer 
Schools — Parochial Schools — Story of the Districts — 
Prepared With the Assistance of i\Iiss Grace B. Sher- 
wood 122-142 




First ]\Iarriage — Hunting and Trapping — Early Days in 
Cedar City — Pioneers of Frankford — Frontier Experi- 
ences by Jacob S. Decker — Independence Celebration — 
Early Days in Lansing — By 0. J. Rhoades 142-151 



City Founded at the Old Water Ford — Coming of Austin 
Nichols — Arrival of Chauncey Leverich — Beginning of 
Settlement — Platting the Village — Pioneer Days — Im- 
portant Events — Murder of Chauncey Leverich — Stories 
of the Small Beginnings of What Has Become an Impor- 
tant City 155-180 



Incorporation of the Village in 1868 — Incorporated as a City 
— Changes in Charter — Elective and Appointed Officers 
AVho Have Served the Municipality — Important Acts of 
the Successive Councils — Home Rule Charter Adopted 
—Edited by John H. Skinner 181-200 



Importance of the Mercantile Interests — Beginning of Indus- 
try—Austin in 1867— The Railroad Era— Austin in 1876 
—Austin in 1884 — The IModern Period — Manufacturing 
Interests — First Mill — Former Industries — Modern In- 
dustries—Edited by Charles L. West 200-211 



First Mill — Former Industries — Present Interests — Story of 
the Growth and Development of the Various Plants 
Which Have Assisted in the Progress of the City — ]\Iinor 
Activities ". 212-227 



Masonic Orders — Odd Fellows — Pythian Orders — Catholic 
Orders— Order of Elks— Oth.'r Fraternal Orders— Patri- 
otic Orders — Catholic Orders — Railroad Orders — Fra- 
ternal Insurance — Scandinavian and Teutonic Lodges — 
Industrial — Driving Associations — Edited by Osmau J. 
Simmons 227-241 




Advantages of the City, Written by Rev. C. D. Belden — 
Religious Activities, by Robert L. Moore — Austin Clubs, 
by Miss Jennie G. Keith — St. Olav Hospital and Training 
School — Austin Schools, by Prof. George A. Franklin — 
Austin Hotels " 241-284 



Story of the Growth and Development of the Financial Inter- 
ests of the County, Told by Nathan F. Bantield— First 
Bank in the County — Banks of Austin, Grand IMeadow, 
LeRoy, Lyle, Adams, Racine, Rose Creek, Dexter, Sar- 
geant, Brownsdale, AValtham, Taopi — Summary of Bank- 
ing Conditions in Mower County 285-298 



Reminiscences of Mrs. Lyman A. Sherwood — Trip From 
Winona — Incidents on the AVay — Arrival in Austin — 
Austin as a Pioneer Village — Fourth of July Celebration 
- — Incidents of the Early Days — Life in "Old Headquar- 
ters" — Work on the Cemetery — Off for the Civil War — 
Indian Scare— Other Anecdotes 299-308 



Introduction by Gertrude Ellis Skinner — Story of the First 
Newspaper in the County — History of the Founding, 
Growth, Development and Present Status of the Journals 

of Mower County 309-318 



His Proud Achievements — His Solemn Oath — His Ethics — 
The True Physician — His Reward — His Delicate Relation 
to the Human Family — His Inventions and Discoveries 
Free Gifts — The Pioneer Doctor — His Cliaracter and 
Services — His Limitations — The Pioneer Physicians of 
Mower Countv — The IMower County ^Medical Association 
—Edited by A. W. Allen, M. D 319-328 



Outbreak of the War — The First AVar .Meeting in Slower 
County — Newspaper Clippings of Stirring War Events 
— List of Veterans AVho Enlisted from ]\Iower County, 



AVitli History of Their Eegiments — Houoi* Roll of 
Mower County Heroes AVho Laid Down Their Lives for 
the LTnion — Col. Henry C. Rogers and His Record — By 
Col. A. W. Wright. /. 328-346 



Growth and Development of the System — First Offices in 
]\Iower County — Stories of the Stage Coach Drivers — 
History of the Present and Discontinued Postoffices of 
MoAver County — Edited by George E. Anderson 346-358 



Location and Soil of Township — Early Settlement — Organi- . 
zation — Village of Grand INIeadow — Opening of the Set- 
tlement and Early Business Interests — Societies — 
Churches — Postoffice — Library — Catastrophes — Early 
Events— Village Government." 358-373 



Red Rock Township — Early Settlement — First Events — 
Organization — Brownsdale Village — "Organization — 
Early Business — Serious Water Spout — Brownsdale m 
1871 — Brownsdale in 1885^Modern Brownsdale — Fra- 
ternities, Churches and Industries — Edited by Hosmer 
A. Brown . 374-388 



Location and Area — First Events — Early Settlement — Or- 
ganization — Old Village — LeRoy Village — Beginning the 
New Village — LeRoy in 1868 — Early Business — LeRoy 
in 1871 — LeRoy in 1884 — Religious — Cemeteries — 
Modern LeRoy— Disasters 389-410 



Location and Area — Early Settlement — First Events — Cedar 
City — Village of Lyle — Able Articles by William Nord- 
land and L. W. Sherman — Development of the Village — 
City -Hall — Fire Department — Churches — Fraternal 
Orders — Industries — Telephone Company — ^Municipal 
History— Recollections of Early Lyle 410-428 




Dexter Township — Location and Soil — Settlement — Organi- 
zation — Religious — Dexter Village — Location and Settle- 
ment — Village Plats — Village Incorporation and Officers 
"With Village Improvements — Churches — Edited by 
Henry "Weber, Jr.— Renova— Sutton 428-439 



Location, Advantages and Area — Early Settlement — First 
Events — Organization of the Township — Religious — 
Rose Creek Village — Location, Platting, Incorporation 
and Officers — Business in the Early Days — Churches — 
Edited by George Sutton and Ferdinand G. Ray 489-4.31 



Location and Area — Soil and Waters — Early Settlement — 
First Events — Organization — Immense Farm — Village of 
Taopi — Taopi in 1875 — Taopi in 1884 — ^Modern 
Taopi 452-456 



Location and Area — Early Settlement — Organization — Reli- 
gious — First Events — Old AS'altham Hoiase — Cemetery — 
Old Waltham Village — New Waltham Village — Modern 
"Waltham — Business Interests — Church — School and 
Creamerj^ — Edited by Lorenzo S. Chapman 456-464 


Location and Area — Early Settlement — Organization — Reli- 
gious — Hamilton Village — Racine Village — Edited by 
A. F. Stiles r 464-468 



Location and Area — Early Settlement — Organization — Early 
Hotel and Store — St. John's Church — Sargeant Vil- 
lage 469-472 



Location and Natural Advantages — First Settlement — First 
Events — Organization — Religious History — IMill Sites — 
Cemetery 472-478 




Location and Area — Early Settlement — Organization — 
Bounty — Churches — Railroads — First Events — ]\Iills — 
Cemeteries — Lansing Village — Early Interests — ^la- 
sonie Lodge — Ramsey Junction — Corning Village. . . .478-487 



Location and Advantages — Early Settlement — Organization 
- — First Events — Religious — Frozen to Death — Village of 
Adams 487-495 



Location and Soil — Early Settlement — Frankford Village — 
Bear Creek — Norwegian Settlement — History of Town- 
ship and Village by Mrs. Ralph E. Crane 495-504 



Location and Area — Early Settlement — Organization — First 

Events — Religious — Town Hall and Cemetery 504-506 



Location and Advantages — Early Settlement — Organization 

— Name — Cemetery 506-507 


Location and Area — Early Settlement — Organization 507-510 


Location and Area — Early Settlement — First Events — Reli- 
gious — Accidental Deaths — Origin of Name — Cemetery 
— Madison Village — Red Oak Grove Settlement and 
Church 510-521 




Location and Advantages — First Settlement — Early Events 

— Organization — Religious — Norwegian Settlement . . .521 -.')2:? 



Location and Area — First Settlement — Organization — First 
Events — Religious — Industries — Six Mile Grove Settle- 
ment 523-.'328 



Second Infantry M. N. G. — Company "G" of Austin — Com- 
pany "G" in the Twelfth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, 
Spanish-American AYar — Officers and Men — First and 
Present Officers— By Col. Arthur W. AVright 528-532 



Story of Early Political Parties and Contests Told by Jacob 
N. Nicholsen — East and West Side Fights — Nominees 
and Results of Elections in Ante-Bellum Days — AVar 
Time Politics — Exciting Days for Mower County. . . . 532-5 i2 



Land Office Records — Date of First Claims Taken in Each 
Township, With the Names of the Pre-emptors — Honor 
Roll of Those Who Braved the Hardships of Pioneer Life 
and Fultilled the Government Requirements of Actual 
Residence in the Earliest Days — Old Settlers' Asso- 
ciation 542-553 


Importance of the Dairy Industry in Slower County — A. V. 
Ellis the Father of Dairy Farming In This Vicinity — 
Story of the Present Day Creameries — The Dairy Cow, 

Her Worth and Virtues— By H. L. Bantield 553-555 

Note — The biographical index will be found in the back 

part of this volume. 

History of Mower County 



Introduction — Location and Area — Surface and Topography — 
Material Resources. 

Situated iu the southeastern portion of that rolling sweep of 
country known as southern Minnesota, is a pro.sperous county that 
has taken its name from John E. Mower, an early member of the 
Minnesota Territorial Legislature. 

A rolling prairie, interspersed with natural and domestic 
groves, beautified by meandering streams, and surfaced with rich, 
deep soil, the county has advantages which have placed it in the 
foremost ranks of Minnesota's agricultural and grazing districts. 
The elevation of this stretch of land above the sea, its fine drainage 
and the dryness of the atmosphere, give it a climate of unusual 
salubrity and pleasantness. Its latitude gives it correspondingly 
longer days in summer, and during the growing seasons about 
one and a half hours more of sunshine than in the latitude of 
St. Louis. This taken in connection with the abundant rainfall 
in early autumn, accounts for the rapid and vigorous growth of 
crops in this vicinity and their early maturity. The refreshing 
breezes and cool nights in summer prevent the debilitating effect 
of heat so often felt in lower latitudes. The winter climate is 
also one of the attractive features. Its iiniformity and its 
dryness, together with the bright sunshine and the electrical 
condition of the air, all tend to enhance the personal comfort of 
the resident, and to make outdoor life and labor a pleasure. 

Embracing as the county does, so pleasing a prospeet to the 
eye, and so fruitful a field for successful endeavor, it is natural 
that the people who from the earliest days were attracted here, 
should be the possessors of steady virtues, ready to toil and to 
sacrifice, that their labors might be crowned witli the fruits of 
prosperity and happiness. The cities and villages of tlie county 


have had their part in the general commercial upbuilding of the 
state, and furnish excellent trading and shipping facilities for the 
rural districts. In these centers, manufacturing is carried on to a 
greater or less extent ; the milling business is naturally important ; 
and the dairy and creamery interests are paramount. 

The rural districts are the scene of peace, prosperity and 
contentment. The homes are substantially built, and furnished 
with the comforts and conveniences of modern life, stock is 
humanely housed and well pastured, the farm land is extensively 
tilled and productive, and the churches and schools Avhich are 
seen on every side testify to an interest in the higher things 
of life by a law-abiding, progressive and loyal people. 

Tt is indeed in its men and women, rather than in its grains 
and vegetables, its live stock and fruit, its factories and commerce 
that Mower county takes its greatest pride. From her farms, 
from her cities, and from her villages, have gone out those who 
have taken an important part in the activities of the world, and 
who whether in commerce or diplomacy, in the professions or in 
the trades, have maintained that steadfastness of purpose and 
staunchness of character that mark true Mower county men and 
women wherever they may be found. 

Usually blessed by nature with deep soil and abundant natiiral 
resources, and endowed with a wealth of prehistoric and historic 
lore, the county is a fitting home for the sturdy people who have 
here made their dwelling place. Hard-working, progressive, 
educated and prosperous, they have appreciated the gifts which 
nature has spread for them, and have added their own toil, and 
the fruit of their intellects, to the work of the elements, making 
the country one of the beautiful spots of the earth. On the slopes 
of land graze cattle and sheep, while the level lands respond to 
the eiiorts of the spring-time sower and planter with a Avealth of 
harvest in the summer and autumn. On nearly every quarter 
section is reared a comfortable home and commodious barns, 
while from the crest of every swell of land are visible the churches 
and schools wherein the people worship the Giver of all Gifts, 
and educate their children. Thus blessed by God and beloved by 
man, the county today stands for all that is ideal in American 
life and is forging ahead to still wider influence and more 
extended opportunity. 

Location and Area. The county of Mower lies in the south- 
eastern portion of I\Iinnesota, only two counties separating it from 
the Mississippi river, while it forms one of the southern tier of 
counties. The county is bounded on the north by Dodge and 
Olmsted counties; on the east by Fillmore county, the west by 
Freeborn county; and on the south by the state of Iowa. The 
county comprises an area of about 453,120 acres, or 708 square 


miles. It includes congressional townships 101, 102, 103 and 104, 
north, ranges 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 west of the Fifth principal 
meridian, except sections 1 to 6, in township 104, ranges 34 and 15, 
which were cut oft* and annexed to Olmsted county, ]\Iay 22, 
1857. This territory is organized into the following civil 
townships: Udolpho, AValtham, Sargeant, Pleasant Valley, 
Racine, Frankford, Grand Meadow, Dexter, Red Rock, Lansing, 
Austin, Windom, Marshall, Clayton, Bennington, LeRoy, Lodi, 
Adams, Nevada and Lyle. 

Surface and Topography, The general surface features of 
Mower county can more accurately and more readily be seen by 
a glance at the description of the various townships, than can 
possibly be given in a general chapter. The surface of the county 
is somewhat diversified; yet the whole is gently undulating. 
Nowhere within the limits of the county does the surface approach 
the character properly called hilly, but maintains throughout its 
general smoothness, and susceptibility of cultivation. The situation 
is necessarily healthful and free from malaria. The cold springs 
of crystal water that burst through the surface of the soil, feed 
the numerous streams that flow in every direction from the 
borders. The elevation is an effectual and perpetual injunction 
against the inroads of fevers of any kind. The Red Cedar river 
iu the western tier of townships, receives the waters of Rose, 
Dobbins' and Turtle creeks from the east and flows soutlnvard 
into Iowa. The little Cedar river is in the south central part of 
the county, and further south, in Iowa, joins with the Red Cedar 
river to form the Cedar river, which stream in turn joins the Iowa 
river and thus reaches the Mississippi. The Wapsipinicon river, 
Avhich rises in the south central part of the county, flows through 
Iowa to the Mississippi. A branch of the upper Iowa rises in the 
southeastern part of the county. In the northeast and eastern part 
of the county, are many tributaries of the Root river, which river 
flowing northeast and east reaches the Mississippi river. The 
county has also several small creeks, and a number of springs. 

As an agricultural and stock raising region Mower county is 
not excelled by any county in the state. The soil is A'ery 
productive; being a rich, dark sandy loam, well adapted to all 
cereals common to this latitude. It is also excellently adapted 
to the production of cultivated and indigenous grasses, and the 
raising of stock, both common and blooded, attracts the general 
attention of the intelligent class of farmers who have located here. 
Timber is found in considerable quantities along the banks of the 
water courses and distributed in beautiful groves, botli natural 
and domestic, all over the county. The general varieties of timber 
are oak, maple, ash, hickory, walnut, basswood, elm. cottonwood, 
poplar, etc. Four nuts grow here — hickoi'v nuts, walnut;'. 


hazelnuts and butternuts. The wild lands are covered with the 
richest and most nutritious grasses, eminently adapted to grazing. 

From the Geological and Natural History Survey of 
]\Iinnesota from 1872 to 1882, as compiled by Prof. N. H. Winchell, 
assisted by Warren Upham, Ph. D., we make several extracts of 
that portion relating to Mower county : 

Estimates of the average height of the townships of this 
couuly arc as follows: Racine, 1,300 above the sea; Frankford, 
1,320; Bennington, 1,325; LeRoy, 1,300; Pleasant Valley, 1,350; 
Grand JMeadow, 1,360; Clayton, 1,360; Lodi, 1,325; Sargeant, 
1,360; Dexter, 1,360; Marshall, 1,330; Adams, 1,275; Waltham, 
1,340; Red Rock, 1,270; Windom, 1,240; Nevada, 1,230; Udolpho, 
1,260; Lansing, 1,225; Austin, 1,190; Lyle, 1,190. The mean 
elevation of jMower county is approximately 1,300 feet above 
the sea. 

The soil of IMower county is everywhere dependent on the 
nature of the drift. The underlying rock has affected it only so 
far as it may have mingled with the general mass. It is hence 
primarily a gravelly clay, that being the character of the subsoil 
throughout the county. This gravelly clay, however, is not 
prominently displayed as the immediate soil of the surface. 
Indeed, the farmer in plowing rarely penetrates to it. It lies 
below a rich loam usually at depths varying from zero to two 
or three feet, or even more. The surface soil itself, which has 
resulted from it through the agency of the forces of the atmosphere 
and of vegetation, is of a dark color, and in general may be 
designated as clayey loam, or a sandy loam, depending on the 
nature and completeness of the local drainage. In low grounds 
this loam is thick and of dark color. It is also apt to be more 
clayey in low ground than it is on the hillsides or slopes ad.joining, 
and on high hills or steep slopes it is thin or wanting, the wash 
of the surface having carried it into valleys. Along the streams 
it often consists of an arenaceous loam variously mingled witli 
the detritus of the flood-plain. 

The soil of the county is everywhere characterized by the 
strength and fertility that the drift soils of the Northwest are 
noted for. They are the most reliable soils for all the purposes 
of the farmer that are known. The states that are regularly and 
deeply l)uried in drift deposits are known as the best farming 
states of the Union. Certain rock soils, endowed with special 
qualities, may excel in tlie production of certain crops, especially 
ill rjixorablc seasons, luit for general tillage they cannot com- 
])c1(' Willi llic lioiiioiicncous drift soils, througli which are disscm- 
ii);i1 cd llic <;(i(i(l (|iiali1i('s ol' tli(> various rocks concerned in their 
production, in llic |)roi)oi1i()iis that make stability and diversity 
c(]ually ccrliiiii. 


A detailed account of the geologic features of Mower county 
may be found in the published reports of the "Geological and 
Natural History Survey of ]\Iinnesota, " to which reference has 
already been made. 

Material Resources. With tlie exception of the central high 
prairie portion of Mower county, it is tolerably well supplied 
with wood for common fuel. On the prairies referred to wood 
is rare. Along the valleys of the streams in the eastern and 
western portions of the county the first settlements took place. 
The principal natural wealth of the county lies in its soil and its 
agricultural adaptations. The people are generally farmers. The 
growth of the county in all respects will be primarily dependent 
on, and co-ordinate with, the settlement of the farming lands, 
and their protitable tillage. Quarrying is carried on to some 
degree, lime is burned, cement is made, and from the early days 
brick have been manufactured in the county. At the present 
time brick and tile making in Austin is a most important indus- 
try. Many wells have been sunk in the soil of the county and 
the water thus obtained is uniformly excellent. 



Primeval Solitude — Origin of Human Life in Minnesota— The 
Lowland Mound Builders — The Highland Mound Builders — 
Mower County a Hunting Place for the Indians. 

From the first existence of the earth to the time of the coming 
of man many aeons passed, and after countless ages this locality 
awaited human habitation. Primeval nature reigned in all het 

"The buffalo, the elk, and the deer, for centuries roamed the 
wild prairies and woodlands; fishes basked undisturbed in its 
rippling streams; the muskrat, the otter, and the mink gamboled 
upon the ice in winter with no man to molest them. Ducks, 
geese, and other aquatic fowls, in countless numbers, covered 
the streams in summer, and chattered and squawked and frolicked 
in all their native glory and liappiness. The prairie wolves 
howled upon their little hillocks, and, cowardlike, were always 
ready to attack and destroy the weak and defenseless. Pocket 
gophers went on with their interminable underground op<'ra- 
tions, all unconscious of the inroads later to be made upon their 


dominions by the husbandman. Grouse and prairie chickens 
cackled, crowed and strutted in all their pride. Blizzards and 
cyclones swept unheeded across its domains. 

"The autumnal prairie fires, in all their terrible grandeur and 
weird beauty, lighted the heavens by night and clouded the sun 
by day. Age after age added richness to the soil and prepared 
it to be one of the most productive fields of the Avorld for the 
abode of the husbandman and for the uses of civilized man." 

At some period of the earth's history, mankind in some form 
took up its abode in the area that is now Mower county. The 
origin of human life in Minnesota has been made a subject of 
special study by Dr. Warren Upham, secretary of the Minnesota 
Historical Society, and the thoughtful student is referred to his 
various articles on the subject; a detailed discussion being be- 
yond the scope of this work. 

It is possible that this region may have been occupied by 
primitive man in glacial, inter-glacial and pre-glacial times. Prof. 
Edward W. Schmidt, the distinguished INIinnesota archreologist, 
has investigated the mounds lying in the lowlands and on the 
prairies of Minnesota and Iowa, and it is possible that a new 
chapter will soon be added to the world's knowledge of pre- 
historic life in this region. 

There are some of these lowland mounds, so called, on the 
road between Austin and Faribault, and many on the prairies 
between Grand IMeadow and Le Eoy. The name lowland mounds 
is given to distinguish this class of mound from the highland 
mounds, so well known on eminences along the Mississippi and 
its larger tributaries. 

The mounds between Grand Meadow and Le Roy have thus 
far l)een the subject of little more than superficial notice, but 
Vv'ill be investigated more thoroughly at a later date. They are 
first seen surrounding a marsh about a quarter of a mile across, 
about two miles and a quarter south of Grand Meadow. About 
twenty are here visible, rising each about two feet above the 
surface. Farther south they increase in number, extending three 
or more miles toward the south and southwest. Probably 500 
could be counted, some being five feet high. They are scattered 
promiscuously over the upper prairie. The surface has the ap- 
pearance of having been poorly drained formerly, and was per- 
haps covered with shallow water till late in the summer season. 
It is thought that they occur where the ground is wet and tlie 
clay near the surface. Yet south of the region designated they 
do not exist, thoiigh there is no apparent diflt'erence in the prairie. 
Tlie material of which they consist is the ordinary loam of tlie 
surface soil. Several of them have been removed, when near 
tlie higliway, and the material hauled into the street for grading. 


There is no record or knowledge of any human bones or oth(>r 
relics having been found in them. 

In regard to these lowland mounds, Professor Schmidt has 
said: "These mounds are undoubtedly of the kind I have boon 
studying. They are a conundrum. After examining so many 
similar mounds in many different places, and in view of the fact 
that so far there is no positive evidence at hand to tell us how 
these mounds came to be, it is perfectly proper to ask : How are 
these mounds made? Are they geological features of the coun- 
try? If so, let the geologist explain them. Or have they been 
formed by plants or animals? If so, let the biologist explain 
them. If, for example, animals have made them, either by their 
OAvn efforts or by the help of natural agencies, then it may be 
that many of the highland knolls which are now counted and 
mapped as Indian mounds may prove to be of a similar origin. 

"A prolonged observation of these mounds in the various lo- 
calities where they occur seems to justify this conclusion that by 
far the greater number, if not all of them, are Indian mounds. 
These mounds are either artificial or else they are not artificial. 
Either view has its difficulties in our present state of knowledge. 

"The following are some of the reasons which point to an 
artificial origin: The mounds are invariably sound and are 
made of the same kind of soil as occurs on the land on which 
they are situated. Some people call them gopher hills, or ant- 
hills, or remnants of haystacks, or swells in the land marking 
the site of a buried boulder. As regards the view that the 
mounds are the remains of haystacks, we may say that haystacks 
leave no residual soil of this kind when hay is left to rot. The 
mounds are often located where hay was never stacked, for 
example, in woods. On one tract of land that was being cleared 
of its timber some of the mounds located in the woods had 
trees growing on them. Nor do haystacks leave remains of soil 
with sand, gravel and pebbles in them. Nor do they occur in 
woods with old trees growing on them. Some of the mounds 
occur in places where, at least for a part of the year, it is very 
wet, where no farmer would stack hay, nor any gopher burrow, 
nor ants build their homes. It is true that ants are to be found 
in the lowlands, but the structures reared to mark the sites of 
their nest are never in these localities more than a fcAV inches 
over a foot in height. The width of the antliills is about one 
foot, and the flat truncated top usually slants in a southerly 
direction, facing the sun. Very likely such frail structures 
would, when deserted, disappear in a short time under the at- 
tack of the elements. In no instance were ants found living in 
the mounds. 

"That p('0i>le call these mounds go])li('r hills is easily ex- 


plained by the fact that gophers occasionally burrow in mounds. 
Immediately the inference is drawn that the gophers built the 
whole mound. Closer observation shows that wherever burrow- 
ing animals are found inhabiting mounds, the mound loses its 
smooth, convex outline and becomes roughened and warty in 
appearance on account of the small heaps of dirt thrown up by 
the animals. Hence Ave may readily see how, in the lapse of 
long centuries, some of the mounds may have been inhabited for 
a time by gophers and made rough on the exterior. This would 
account for the bossed surface that some mounds have. Mounds 
can be found in localities so Avet that it is doubtful if a gopher 
ever lived there. .Gophers do not live in wet places any more 
than in woods. Again, Ave knoAV that gophers abound in many 
places Avhere no mounds Avhatever occur. Why, for example, 
does not the enormous number of gopliers in other counties 
build mounds on the high prairies, or along the AAiiole lengths 
of riA^er courses? ^Vhy do they not build intermediate mounds 
as Avell as mounds twenty to forty feet across? I never met a 
man who knew of gophers building large mounds. 

"These considerations seem to warrant the conclusion that 
these mounds are not the accumulations of rotted grass, nor of 
gopher and ant diggings. Nor does there seem to be a natural 
agency to Avhich the making of so many mounds, so regularly 
alike, in such different localities, can be inferred. If it be sug- 
gested that they might have been formed by upturned roots 
of trees that were blown over, or by the drift material of SAVollen 
waters, or by springs, a number of questions can be raised at 
once to throAV great imx^robability on such an origin of the 
mounds. While Ave may conceive of some mounds having been 
formed in this Avay in certain places, none of the suggested 
modes, nor a combination of them, will explain the mounds in 
these places. Why should not these agencies have formed 
mounds in vastly larger areas Avhere we know there are springs, 
where winds overturn trees, Avhere flooded streams form A^ery 
numerous drift accumulations but not mounds? Nor are these 
mounds small dunes bloAvn up by the Avind. The character of 
the land is such as to preclude all possibility of their formation 
by the wind. Much of the ground is too wet to permit the 
drifting of soil ; some of the pebbles and rocks found in the 
mounds would require a terrific Avind to transport them. Again, 
dunes built by the Avind are not uniformly circular. Rather they 
are oblong, Avith the highest elevation not in the middle but 
tOAvards one end. It Avere odd indeed that the Avind should build 
such dunes in low places, or in Avoods, or in groups, or string 
them along creeks and not build them in places that are ap- 
parently much better adapted to Avind-Avork. There are also 


other considerations which give color to the conclusion that the 
mounds were built by man, and that by the Indians. The shape 
of all the mounds is that of the ordinary round mound. In size 
they vary from fifteen to thirty feet across the top. Few exceed 
thirty feet. One mound measured fifteen paces, or about forty- 
five feet across. In general, the height varies from one-half to 
two and one-half feet. A number exceed this and may form 
very conspicuous objects on the meadow where the grass is burned 
away. A number of mounds have circular depressions around 
them as if dirt had been removed thence. After a thaw, water 
may stand in the ring and make it very noticeable. 

"At first it seemed to me very probable that the mounds 
served as tenting places. The diameter and circumference of the 
mounds would suggest this, but the seeming absence of the action 
of does not support this view unless the Indians camping 
there did not build fires. In other respects there is no reason 
why Indians might not have camped there, as there was plenty 
of water, and an abundance of game. In ancient times, the 
region of these mounds between Grand Meadow and Le Roy was, 
doubtless, a great marsh, and possibly even a marshy lake, drained 
by what are now tributaries of the Root river, a probable traffic 
way for the savages from the IMississippi river. 

"There is no reason to doubt that fancy, or some definite cause, 
such as the capture of game, brought Indians to all parts of this 
country; hence it is not at all unlikely that pre-historie Indians 
did the same thing. Our inability to find a conclusive reason at 
present why Indians should camp or build mounds in these places 
is no proof that the mounds are not of Indian origin. Should 
closer study prove the mounds to be burial places, then they are 
witnesses both of the large number of Indians biiried there, as 
well as of the much larger number of population which was 
not honored with a monument of earth. 

"If it is true that these mounds are the products of human 
activity in prehistoric times, then they present us Avith a new 
and unexpected phase in the mound builders choice of location for 
mounds. To a person accustomed to seeing large effigy mounds 
in Wisconsin, or other larger mounds along the Mississippi, it 
would naturally be a puzzle to find mounds in a location where 
his former experience would not have prompted him to look for 
mounds. The unexpected may also turn up in the experience of 
the mound-hunter, and there is nothing unreasonable in thinking 
that these mounds are another link in the chain of Minnesota 
archeology, throwing light on the life of the prehistoric builders. 
It merely shows that Indians built mounds also in other places 
than on high terraces and shores. 

"But should further study ever show that these mounds are 


not the work of wandering savages, then they ought to be ac- 
corded a place in that science whose province it will be to ex- 
plain them. So far I have utterly failed to find any adequate 
cause or principle mentioned in geology, biology or physiog- 
raphy, which will explain all of these in all places. If these 
mounds were not built by Indians, then it may be that in any 
other mounds now reckoned as Indians' mounds may also be 
explained by the action of some other agency." 

The first actual residents of this vicinity, whose occupation 
of the region has been conclusively demonstrated, were the High- 
land Mound Builders. Many relics, such as arrow heads and the 
like, have been found along the Cedar river. No scientific inves- 
tigation has been made of Highland mounds in Mower county, 
but studies that have been made of these mounds to the north 
and east, inside of a radius of 100 miles, would seemingly form 
the premises of a fairly safe conclusion, that the Highland mound 
building race ranged the prairies of Mower county. Scholars 
at one time held to the belief that the Highland ]\Iound Builders 
were a distinct race of a now exterminated people, much superior 
to the Indians in intelligence and habits and related closely, 
indeed, in civilization to the highly cultured Aztecs of Mexico. 
Present day scholars, however, are of the belief that the High- 
land Mound Builders, of North America, were the ancestors of 
the Indians found here by the early explorers, and dift'ering from 
them in no important characteristic of intelligence, habits, morals 
or education. The Highland Mound Builders of this immediate 
vicinity were, doubtless, the ancestors of the Sioux and the Iowa 
Indians, it being well known that these two races were branches 
of the same great family. 

None of the early explorers mention any permanent Indian 
villages within the present limits of Mower county, and, although 
the Sioux Indians claimed this stretch of land, this prairie was 
doubtless crossed from time immemorial, by bands of the Sioux, 
lowas. Sacs and Foxes. 

The vague traditions of the Sioux having been driven out 
of "Wisconsin by the Chippewas, their settlement about Mille 
Lacs, and their gradual distribution along the Avest banks of the 
upper Mississippi, as well as their alleged conquest of the lowas, 
who, according to tradition, formerly occupied the latter locality, 
is beyond the scope of this work. The words Dakota and Sioiix, 
though exactly opposite in meaning, are applied to the same race 
of Indians. Dakota (variously spelled) is the name applied by 
the race themselves, and means friendly or joined together in 
friendly compact, the Sioux nation being a confederation of 
tribes. The word Sioux comes from the word Nadowayscioux, 
applied by the Chippewas and meaning enemies. The diaries of 


the early hunters along the west bank of the Mississippi, lead us 
to believe that the vicinity embraced in Mower county was 
familiar to all the Sioux Indians living along that river, and that 
annual hunting parties visited this region. Many sanguinary 
wars were also fought here, for the Sacs and the Foxes were not 
far away, and even the Chippewas occasionally braved the wrath 
of their enemies and came here after game. 

With the coming of the white settlers, the Sioux Indians 
became rather plentiful in Mower county, although at that time 
the treaties which relinc[uished the Indian rights of title had 
already been signed. 


Visit to Washington — Boundary Lines Between Indian Tribes 
Defined — Territory Now Mower County Included in the 
Sioux Jurisdiction — Second Treaty of Prairie Du Chien — 
Some of Wabasha's Men Killed by the Foxes South of Aus- 
tin in Iowa — Strip of Territory South of Mower County 
Ceded by Treaty— The Doty Treaty and Its Failure— Treaty 
of Traverse Des Sioux — Treaty of Mendota, by Which Mower 
County was Opened to Settlement. 

From prehistoric days up to the time of the treaty signed at 
Mendota, August 5, 1851, ratified and amended by the United 
States senate, June 23, 1852; accepted with amendments by the 
Indians, September 4 and 6, 1852, and proclaimed by President 
Fillmore, February 24, 1853, the territory embraced in Mower 
county remained in the undisputed possession of the Indians, 
being used as a hunting ground by the Sioux Indians, but also 
being visited by other Redmen. Before this treaty, however, sev- 
eral agreements were made between the Indians of this vicinity 
and the United States government, regarding mutual relations 
and the ceding of lands. 

Visit to Washington. In the spring of 1824 the first delega- 
tion of Sioux Indians went to Washington to see their "Great 
Father," the president. A delegation of ChippcAvas accompanied, 
and both were in charge of Major Taliaferro. Wabasha, then 
properly called Wa-pa-ha-sha, the head chief of the band at 
Winona ; and Little Crow, head of the Kaposia band ; and Wah- 
natah, were the principal memliers of the Sioux delegation. The 


object of the visit was to secure a convocation of all of the upper 
Mississippi Indians at Prairie du Chien to define the boundary 
line of the lands claimed by the separate tribes and to establish 
general and permanent friendly relations among them. The party 
went in keel boats from Fort Snelling to Prairie du Chien, and 
from there to Pittsburg by steamboat, thence to Washington and 
other eastern cities by land. 

Prairie du Chien Treaty of 1825. The treaty of Prairie du 
Chien, signed in 1825, was important to the Indians of this vicin- 
ity, in that it fixed certain boundaries. The eastern boundary 
of the Sioux territory was to commence on the east bank of 
the ^Mississippi, opposite the mouth of the "loway" (now the 
upper Iowa) river, running back to the bluffs, and along the bluffs 
to the Bad Ax river; thence to the mouth of Black river, and 
thence to "half a day's march" below the falls of the Chippewa. 
The boundary lines were certainly, in some respects, quite indefi- 
nite, and Avhether this was the trouble or not, at any event, it was 
but a few months after the treaty when it was evident that neither 
the Dakotas (Sioux) nor Ojibways were willing to be governed 
by the lines established — and hardly by any others. The first 
article of the treatj^ provided: "There shall be a firm and per- 
petual peace between the Sioux and the Chippewas; between the 
Sioux and the confederated tribes of Sacs and Foxes ; and between 
the 'loways' and the Sioux." But this provision was more 
honored in the breach than the observance, and in a little time 
the tribes named were flying at one another's throats and engaged 
in their old-time hostilities. On the part of the Sioux this treat}'' 
was signed by Chiefs AA-'abasha, Little Crow, Standing Buffalo, 
Sleepy Eye, Two Faces, Tah-sah-gliee, or "His Cane"; Black 
Dog, Wah-ah-na-tah, or "The Charger"; Red Wing, Shakopee, 
Penishon and Eagle Head, and also by a number of head soldiers 
and "principal men." The Chippewa signers were Shingauba 
Wassa, Gitche Gaubow, Wis Coup, or "Sugar," and a number 
of sub-chiefs and principal men. 

Second Treaty of Prairie du Chien. In 1830, the second treaty 
Avith the northwest Indian tribes was signed at Prairie du Chien. 
A few Aveeks previous to the convocation, Avhich Avas begun July 
15, a party of AVabasha's band of Sioux, and some Menomiuees, 
ambushed a party of Fox Indians some tAvelve or fifteen miles 
beloAV Prairie du Chien and killed eight of them, including a 
sub-chief called the Kettle. 

The Foxes had their village near Dubuque, and Avere on their 
Avay to Prairie du Chien to visit the Indian agent, Avhom they had 
apprised of their coming. They were in canoes on the Missis- 
sippi, and as they reached the loAver end of Prairie du Pierreaux, 
tliey paddled up a narroAV channel Avhich ran near the eastern 


shore. At this point their concealed enemies opened fire. The 
Foxes returned to their village, bearing their dead, while the 
Sioux and Menominees went home and danced over their victory. 
A few weeks previous the Foxes had killed some of Wabasha's 
band on the Red Cedar river in Iowa, a few miles south of Austin, 
and the Sioux claimed that their part in the Prairie du Pierreaux 
was taken in retalliation for the Red Cedar affair. In June of 
the following year, a large number of Menominees were camped 
on an island in the Mississippi, less than half a mile from Fort 
Crawford and Prairie du Chien. One night they were all intox- 
icated — men, women and children — when two hours before day- 
light the Dubuque Foxes took dreadful reprisal for the killing of 
their brethren at Prairie du Pierreaux. Though but a small band, 
they crept into the Menominee encampment, fell upon the in- 
mates, and in a few minutes put numbers of them to the gun, 
tomahawk and the scalping knife. Thirty Menominees were 
killed. "When the entire Menominee band had been aroused, the 
Foxes, without having lost a man, retired, calling out in great 
exaltation that the cowardly killing of their comrades at Prairie 
du Pierreaux had been revenged. 

Because of the Prairie du Pierreaux affair, the Foxes at first 
refused to be present at the second treaty of Prairie du Chien, but 
finally came. 

Delegates were present from four bands of the Sioux, the 
MedaAvakantons, the Wapakootas, the Wahpatons and the Sisse- 
tons, and also from the Sacs, the Foxes and lowas, and even from 
the Omahas, Otoes and Missouris, the homes of the last three 
tribes being on the Missouri river. At this treaty the Indian 
tribes represented ceded all of their claims to the land in western 
Iowa, northwestern Missouri, and especially the country of the 
Des Moines river valley. The lower bands had a special article 
inserted in the treaty for the benefit of their half-blood relatives: 

"The Sioux bands in council have earnestly solicited that they 
might have permission to bestow upon the half-breeds of their 
nation the tract of land within the following limits, to-wit : Be- 
ginning at a place called the Barn, below and near the village of 
the Red Wing chief, and running back fifteen miles ; thence, in a 
parallel line, with Lake Pepin and the Mississippi river about 
thirty-two miles, to a point opposite Beef, or O'Boeuf, river, 
thence fifteen miles to the Grand Encampment, opposite the river 
aforesaid, the United States agree to suft'er said half-breeds to 
occupy said tract of country, they holding the same title, and in 
the same manner that other Indian titles are held." 

Certificates, or "scrip" were issued to many half-breeds, and 
there was much speculation in them, and litigation over them, 
in subsequent years, a matter of whicli will Ix' treated later in 


this history. The Sioux also ceded a tract of land twenty miles 
wide along the northern boundary of Iowa from the Mississippi 
to the Des J\Ioines, the consideration for Avhieh was $2,000 in 
cash and $12,000 in merchandise. Thus it will be seen that as 
early as 1830 the Indians relinquished their title to the land just 
south of Mower county. The strip in question was for many 
years known as the "Neutral Land." 

The Doty Treaty. The Doty treaty, made at Traverse des 
Sioux, in July, 1841, failed to be ratified by the United States 
senate. This treaty embodied a Utopian dream that a territory 
of Indians could be established, in which the Redmen would 
reside on farms and in villages, living their lives after the style 
of the whites, having a constitutional form of government, Avith 
a legislature of their own people elected by themselves, the gov- 
'^rnor to be appointed by the president of the United States, much 
nlong the plan still followed with the Cherokees in the Indian ter- 
ritory, except that it embodied for the Indians a much higher 
type of citizenship than is found in the Indian territory. The 
Indians were to be taught the arts of peace, to be paid annuities, 
Eind to be protected by the armies of the United States from their 
Indian enemies on the west. In return for these benefits to be con- 
ferred upon the Indians, the United States was to receive all the 
lands in what is now Minnesota, the Dakotas and northwestern 
Towa, except small portions,' which were to be reserved for the 
Redmen. This ceded land Avas not to be opened to the settlement 
i>f the whites, and the plan was to have some of it reserved for 
Indian tribes from other parts of the country who should sell 
their lands to the United States, and who, in being moved here, 
>vere to enjoy all the privileges Avhich had been so beautifully 
planned for the native Indians. B^^t no one can tell what Avould 
have been the result of this experiment, for the senate, for politi- 
cal reasons, refused to ratify the treaty, and it failed of going 
into effect. This treaty was signed by the Sisseton, Wahpaton 
nnd AYahpakoota bands at Traverse des Sioux, July 31, 1841, 
and by the Medawakanton bands at Mendota, August 11 of the 
^'iame year. 

Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. In the spring of 1851 Presi- 
dent Fillmore appointed Governor Alexander Ramsey and Luke 
Lea as commissioners to open negotiations Avith the Indians for the 
purpose of opening to settlement Avhat is now the greater part of 
Minnesota. The conference Avas held at Traverse des Sioux, be- 
tween the chiefs and head men of the Sisseton and Wahpaton, or 
Upper Bands, as they were called, and the tAvo commissioners. 
The Indians were accompanied by their families and many prom- 
inent pioneers were also present. The meeting Avas held under a 
brush arbor erected by Alexis Bailly, and one of the incidents 


of the proceedings was the marriage of two mixed blood people, 
David Faribault and Nancy "Winona McClure, the former the son 
of Jean Baptist Faribault and the latter of Lieut. James McClure. 
The treaty Avas signed July 22, 1851, and provided that the upper 
bands should cede to the United States all their land in Iowa as 
well as their lands east of a line from the Red river to Lake 
Traverse and thence to the northwestern corner of Iowa. 

Treaty of Mendota. From July 29, 1851, to August 5, Men- 
dota was the scene of the conference which opened Slower, Steele 
and surrounding counties to white settlement. The chiefs and 
head men of the lower bands were thoroughly familiar with the 
proceedings of the Indians and the representatives of the United 
States at Traverse des Sioux and all were on hand that bright 
August day, waiting for the negotiations to open at Mendota. 
The first session was held in the warehouse of the Fur Company 
at that place, but the Indians found the atmosphere stifling, and 
not in accord with their usual method of outdoor councils, so the 
consideration of the treaty was taken up under a large brush 
arbor, erected by Alexis Bailly, on an elevated plain near the high 
prominence known as Pilot Knob. Dr. Thomas Foster Avas secre- 
tary for Commissioners Lea and Ramsey; the interpreters were 
Alexander Faribault, Philander Preseott and Rev. G. H. Pond; 
the white witnesses were David Olmsted, W. C. Henderson, Alexis 
Bailly, Richard Chute, Henry Jackson, A. L. Carpenter, W. H. 
Randall, A. S. H. White, H. L. Dousman, Fred C. Sibley, Martin 
McLeod, George N. Faribault and Joseph A. "Wheelock. After 
much deliberation and many disagreements, the treaty was signed 
August 5, 1851. Little Crow was the first signer. To the treaty 
Little Crow signed his original name, Tah 0-ya-te Doota, meaning 
His Red Nation. "Wabasha Avas the next to sign, making his mark. 
Then the other chiefs, head soldiers and principal Avarriors 
croAvded around to affix their marks. In all, there Avere sixty-five 
Indian signatures. 

At Mendota, as at Traverse des Sioux, Avhen the treaty Avas 
concluded, each Indian signer stepped to another table Avhere 
lay another paper Avhich he signed. This Avas called the tradei'fe' 
paper, and Avas an agreement to pa.y the "just debts," so called, 
of the Indians, including those present and absent, alive and 
dead, OAA-ing to the traders and the trading company. Some of 
the accounts Avere nearly thirty years old, and the Indians avIio 
had contracted them Avere dead; but the bands Avillingly assumed 
the indebtedness and agreed that it might be discharged out of 
the first money paid them. The territory ceded by the two 
treaties Avas declared to be: "All their lands in the state of 
Iowa, and also all their lands in the territory of ^Minnesota lying 
east of the folloAving line, to-Avit : Beginning at the junction of 


Buffalo river with the Red River of the North (about twelve 
miles north of Morehead, at Georgetown station, in Clay county), 
thence along the western bank of said Red River of the North, 
to the mouth of the Sioux "Wood river ; thence along the western 
bank of said Sioux AVood river to Lake Traverse; thence along 
the western shore of said lake to the southern extremity thereof ; 
thence, in a direct line, to the juncture of Kampeska lake with the 
Tehan-Ka-Sna-Duka, or Sioux river; thence along the western 
bank of said river to its point of intersection with the northern 
line of the state of Iowa, including all islands in said rivers 
and lakes." 

The lower bands were to receive $1,410,000, to be paid in the 
mamaer and form following: For settling debts and removing 
themselves to the new reservation, $220,000, one-half to the ]Meda- 
wakanton bands, and one-half to the single AVahpakoota band ; for 
schools, mills and opening farms, $30,000. Of the principal of 
$1,410,000, the sum of $30,000 in cash was to be distributed 
among the two bands as soon as the treaty was ratified, and 
$28,000 was to be expended annually, under the president 's direc- 
tion, as follows: To a civilization fund, $12,000; to an educa- 
tional fund, $6,000; for goods and provisions, $10,000. The 
balance of the principal, or $1,160,000, was to remain in trust 
rtdth the United States at 5 per cent interest, to be paid annually 
to the Indians for fifty years, commencing July 1, 1852. The $58,- 
000 annuity interest was to be expended as the first installment — 
$30,000 in cash, $12,000 for civilization, $6,000 for education, and 
$10,000 for goods and provisions. The back annuities under the 
treaty of 1837 remaining unexpired were also to be paid an- 
nually. Their reservation was to extend from the mouth of the 
Yellow Medicine and Hawk creek southeasterly to the mouth 
of Rock creek, a tract twenty miles wide and about forty-five 
miles in length. The half-breeds of the Sioux were to receive 
in cash $150,000 in lieu of lands allowed them under the Prairie 
du Chien treaty of 1830, but which they had failed to claim. 

The written copies of the Traverse des Sioux and the Alendotu 
ti'eaties, duly signed and attested, were forwarded to "Washington 
to be acted upon by the senate at the ensuing session of congress. 
An lanreasonably long delay resulted. Final action was not had 
until the follo^^'ing summer, when, on July 23, the senate ratified 
both treaties Avith important amendments. The provisions for les- 
.jrvations for both the upper and lower bands were stricken out, 
and substitutes adopted, agreeing to pay ten cents an acre for 
ooth reservations, and authorizing the president, with the assent 
of the Indians, to cause to be set apart other reservations, wliieh 
were to be within the limits of the original great cession. The 
provision to pay $150,000 to the half-bloods of the lower bands 


was also stricken out. The treaties, with the changes, came back 
to the Indians for final ratification and agreement to the altera- 
tions. The chiefs of the lower bands at first objected very stren- 
uously, but finally, on Saturday, September 4, 1852, at Governor 
Eamsey's residence in St. Paul, they signed the amended articles, 
and the following Monday the chiefs and head men of the upper 
bands affixed their marks. As amended, the treaties were pro- 
claimed by President Fillmore February 24, 1853. The Indians 
were allowed to remain in their old villages, or, if they preferred, 
to occupy their reservations as originally designated, until the 
president selected their new homes. That selection was never 
made, and the original reservations were finally allowed them. 
The removal of the lower Indians to their designated reservation 
began in 1853, but was intermittent, interrupted and extended 
over a period of several years. The Indians went up in detach- 
ments, as they felt inclined. After living on the reservation for 
a time, some of them returned to their old hunting grounds, 
where they lived continuously for some time, visiting their reser- 
vation and agency only at the time of -the payment of their an- 
nuities. Finally, by the offer of cabins to live in, or other sub- 
stantial inducements, nearly all of them were induced to settle 
on the Redwood Reserve, so that in 1862, at the time of the out- 
break, less than twenty families of the Medawakantons and Wah- 
pakootas were living off their reservation. With the subsequent 
history of these Indians this volume wnll not deal in detail ; the 
purpose of treating with the Indians thus far in this chapter 
having been to show the various negotiations by which I\Iower 
county and the surrounding territory came into the possession of 
the whites and was thus opened for settlement and development. 



Early Claims of Title — Spain, France and England — Treaties and 
Agreements — The Louisiana Purchase — Indiana — Louisiana 
District — Louisiana Territory — Missouri Territory — North- 
west Territory — Illinois Territory — Michigan Territory — Wis- 
consin Territory — Iowa Territory — No Man's Land — Sibley 
in Congress — Minnesota Territory — Minnesota State — Com- 
piled from Manuscripts of Hon. F. M. Crosby. 

The liistory of the early government of what is now southern 
Minnesota, is formulated with some difficulty, as, prior to the nine- 
teenth centurv, the interior of the county was so little known. 


and the maps upon which claims and grants were founded were 
so meagre, as well as incorrect and unreliable, that descriptions 
of boundaries and locations as given in the early treaties are 
vague in the extreme, and very difficult of identification with 
present day lines and locations. 

The Hon. J. V. Brower, a scholarly authority upon this sub- 
ject, says — ("The Mississippi Eiver and Its Sources"): "Spain, 
by virtue of the discoveries of Columbus and others, confirmed to 
her by papal grant (that of Alexander VI, May 4, 1493), may 
be said to have been the first European oAvner of the entire valley 
of the Mississippi, but she never used this claim as a ground for 
taking formal possession of this part of her domains other than in- 
cidentally involved in De Soto's doings. The feeble objections 
which she made in the next two centuries after the discovery, to 
other nations exploring and settling North America, were success- 
fully overcome by the force of accomplished facts. The name of 
Florida, now so limited in its application, was first applied by the 
Spaniards to the greater part of the eastern half of North Amer- 
ica, commencing at the Gulf of Mexico and proceeding northward 
indefinitely. This expansiveness of geographical view was par- 
alleled later by the definition of a New France of still greater 
extent, Avhich practically included all the continent. 

"L'Escarbot, in his history of New France, written in 1617, 
says, in reference to this: 'Thus our Canada has for its limits on 
the Avest side all the lands as far as the sea called the Pacific, on 
this side of the Tropic of Cancer; on the south the islands of the 
Atlantic sea in the direction of Cuba and the Spanish land; on 
the east the northern sea Avhich bathes Ncav France ; and on the 
north the land said to be unknoAvn, toward the icy sea as far as 
the arctic pole.' 

' ' Judging also by the A'arious grants to individuals, noble and 
otherAvise, and 'companies,' AAdiich gave away the country in lati- 
tudinal strips extending from the Atlantic Avestward, the English 
were not far behind the Spaniards and French in this kind of 
effrontery. As English colonists never settled on the Mississippi 
in pursuance of such grants, and never performed any acts of 
authority there, such shadoAA^y sovereignties may be disregarded 
here, in spite of the fact that it Avas considered necessary, many 
years later, for A-arious states concerned to conA-ey to the United 
States their rights to territory Avhich they never actually ruled 

"Thus, in the most arbitrary manner, did the Mississippi river, 
though yet unknoAvn, become the property, successively, of the 
Iberian, Gaulish and Anglo-Saxon races — of three peoples who, 
in later times, by diplomacy and force of arms, struggled for an 
actual occupancy. Practically, hoAvever, the upper Mississippi 


valley may be considered as having been in the first place 
Canadian soil, for it was Frenchmen from Canada who first vis- 
ited it and traded with its various native inhabitants. The further 
prosecution of his discoveries by La Salle, in 1682, extended 
Canada as a French possession to the Gulf of Mexico, though he 
did not use the name of Canada nor yet that of New France. 
He preferred to call the entire country watered by the Missis- 
sippi river and its tributaries, from its uttermost source to its 
mouth, by the new name he had already invented for the pur- 
pose — Louisiana. The name of Canada and New France had 
been indifferently used to express about the same extent of 
territory, but the name of Louisiana now came to supersede 
them in being applied to the conjectural regions of the West. 
Although La Salle has applied the latter expression to the entire 
valley of the Mississippi, it was not generally used in that sense 
after his time, the upper part of the region was called Canada, 
and the lower Louisiana; but the actual dividing line between 
the two provinces was not absolutely established, and their 
names and boundaries were variously indicated on published 
maps. Speaking generally, the Canada of the eighteenth century 
included the Great Lakes and the country drained by their tribu- 
taries; the northern one-fourth of the present state of Illinois, 
that is, as much as lies north of the mouth of the Rock river ; all 
the regions lying north of the northern Avatershed of the Mis- 
souri, and finally the valley of the upper Missouri itself." This 
would include Mower county. 

But it is now necessary to go back two centuries previous 
and consider the various explorations of the Mississippi upon 
which were based the claims of the European monarchs. Pos- 
sibly the mouth of the Mississippi had been reached by Span- 
iards previous to 1541, possibly Hibernian missionaries as early 
as the middle of the sixth century, or Welch emigrants (Madoc), 
about 1170, discovered North America by way of the Gulf of 
Mexico, but historians give to Hernando de Soto and his band 
of adventurers the credit of having been the first white men to 
actually view the Mississippi on its course through the interior 
of the continent and of being the first ones to actually traverse 
its waters. De Soto sighted the Mississippi in ]\Iay, 15-11, at the 
head of an expedition in search of gold and precious stones. In 
the following spring, weary with hope long deferred, and worn 
out with his adventures, De Soto fell a victim to disease, and 
died May 21, 1541. His followers, greatly reduced in number by 
sickness, after wandering about in a vain searching, built three 
small vessels and descended to the mouth of the Mississippi, 
being the first white men to reach the outlet of that great river 
From the interior. However, tlicy were too weary and discour- 


to lay claim to the country, and took no notes of the region 
through which they passed. 

In 1554, James Cartier, a Frenchman, discovered the St. 
Lawrence, and explored it as far as the present site of Quebec. 
The next year he ascended the river to Mont Real, the lofty hill 
for which Montreal was named. Thereafter all the country 
drained by the St. Lawrence was claimed by the French. Many 
years later the King of France granted the "basin of the St. 
Lawrence and all the rivers flowing through it to the sea," to a 
company, whose leader was Champlain, tlie founder of Quebec, 
which became the capital of New France, whose then unex- 
plored territory stretched westward to well wdthin the bounda- 
ries of Avhat is now Minnesota. In 1613-15 Champlain explored 
the OttaAva river, and the Georgian bay to Lake Huron, and 
missions were established in the Huron country. IMissionaries 
and fur traders were the most active explorers of the new pos- 
sessions. They followed the shores of the Great Lakes and then 
penetrated further and further into the wilderness. As they 
went they tried to make friends of the red men, established 
trading posts and raised the Christian cross. In 1641 Jogues 
and Raymbault, Jesuits, after a long and perilous voyage in frail 
canoes and bateaux, reached the Sault Ste. Marie, where they 
heard of a large river, the Mich-is-ip-e, flowing southward to the 
sea, and of a powerful Indian tribe dwelling near its head- 
quarters. Stories of vast fertile plains, of numberless streams, 
of herds of buffalo, and of many peoples, in regions far to the 
west and south, roused missionaries and traders anew, and the 
voyages and trips of the explorers became more frequent. 

In 1659-60 Radisson and Groselliers, proceeding westward 
from Lake Superior, entered what is now Minnesota. They spent 
some time in the "forty villages of the Dakotas," in the vicinity 
of Mille Lacs, and probably were the first white men to set foot 
on the soil of this state. The contention that these adventurers 
spent a part of the years 1655-56 on Prairie Island, in the Mis- 
sissippi just above Red Wing, is disputed by most historians, but 
still forms au interesting subject for study and conjecture. 

Some writers also claim that the Frenchman, Sieur Nicollet, 
who should not be confused with the Nicollet of a later d;)te, 
reached the Mississippi in 1639. 

Rene Menard, a Jesuit missionary, reached the Mississippi in 
1661 by way of Wisconsin. This was twelve years prior to its 
discovery by Marquette and Joliet, and to Menard historians in 
general give the honor of the discovery of the upper waters of 
the great river. Menard ascended the Mississippi to the mouth 
of the Black river. Wis., and was lost in a forest near the source 
of tliat stream while attempting to carry the gospel to the 


Hnrons. His sole companion "called him and sought him, l)ut he 
made no reply and could not be found." Some years later his 
camp kettle, robe and prayer book were seen in the possession 
of the Indians. 

In the summer of 1663 the intelligence of the fate of ]\Ienard 
reached Quebec, and on August 8, 1665, Father Claude Allouez, 
who had anxiously waited two years for the means of convey- 
ance, embarked for Lake Superior with a party of French 
traders and Indians. He visited the Minnesota shores of Lake 
Superior in the fall of 1665, established the Mission of the Holy 
Spirit at La Pointe, now in "Wisconsin, and we are told "was 
the first to Avrite 'Messipi' the name of the great river of the 
Sioux country," as he heard it pronounced by the Chippewas, or 
rather as it sounded to his ears. 

May 13, 1673, Jaques Marquette and Louis Joliet, the former 
a priest and the latter the commander of the expedition, set out 
with five assistants, and on June 17 of the same year reached 
the TMississippi at the present site of Prairie du Chien, thence 
continuing down the river as far as the mouth of the Illinois, 
which they ascended, subsequently reaching the lakes. 

In 1678, the Sieur Duluth, Daniel Graysolon, under commis- 
sion from the governor of Canada, set out from Quebec, to ex- 
plore the country west of the Lake Superior region. He was to 
take possession of it in the name of the king of France, and 
secure the trade of the native tribes. Duluth entered IMinnesota 
in 1679, reaching the great Sioux village of Kathio at Mille Lacs, 
on July 2. "On that day," he says, "I had the honor to plant 
His Majesty's arms, where a Frenchman never before had been." 

La Salle, however, was the first to lay claim to the entire 
valley in the name of his sovereign. After achieving perpetual 
fame by the discovery of the Ohio river (1670-71), he conceived 
the plan of reaching the Pacific by way of the northern Missis- 
sippi, at that time unexplored and supposed to be a waterway 
connecting the two oceans. Frontenac, then governor-general 
of Canada, favored the plan, as did the King of France. Ac- 
cordingly, gathering a company of Frenchmen, he pursued his 
way through the lakes, made a portage to the Illinois river, and 
January 4, 1680, reached what is now Lake Peoria, in Illinois. 
From there, in February, he sent Hennepin and two companions 
to explore the upper ]Mississippi. During this voyage Hennepin, 
and the men accompanying him, were taken by the Indians as 
far north as Mille Lacs. He also discovered St. Anthony Falls. 
Needing reinforcements, La Salle again returned to Canada. In 
January, 1682, with a band of followers, he started on his third 
and greatest expedition. February 6, they reached the IMissis- 
sippi by Avay of Lake Michigan and the Illinois river, and ^lareh 


6, discovered the three great passages by which the river dis- 
charges its waters into the Gulf. Two days later they reascended 
the river a short distance, to find a high spot out of the reach 
of inundations, and there erected a column and planted a cross, 
proclaiming with due ceremony the authority of the king of 
France. Thus did the whole Mississippi valley pass under the 
nominal sovereignty of the French monarchs. 

The first definite claim to the upper Mississippi is embodied 
in a paper, still preserved, in the colonial archives of France, 
entitled "The record of the taking possession, in his majesty's 
name, of the Bay des Puants (Green bay), of the lake and rivers 
of the Outagamis and IMaskoutins (Fox rivers and Lake Winne- 
bago), of the river Ouiskonche (Wisconsin), and that of the 
Mississippi, the country of the Nadouesioux (the Sioux or Dakota 
Indians), the rivers St. Croix and St. Pierre (Minnesota), and 
other places more remote, May 8, 1689." (E. B. "Callahan's 
translation in 1855, published in Vol. 9, page 418, "Documents 
Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York") 
This claim was made by Perrot, and the proclamation is supposed 
to have been issued from Fort St. Antonie (Anthony) near the 
present site of Trempealeau. 

The previous proclamations of St. Lusson in 1671 at the out- 
let of Lake Superior, of De Luth, in 1679, at the west end of 
the same lake and at Mille Lacs, had no definite bearing on the 
land now embraced in Mower county, but nevertheless strength- 
ened the French claims of sovereignty. 

For over eight decades thereafter, the claims of France were, 
tacitly at least, recognized in Europe. In 1763 there came a 
change. Of this change, A. N. Winchell (in Vol. 10, "Minnesota 
Historical Society Collections") writes: "The present eastern 
boundary of Minnesota, in part (that is, so far as the Mississippi 
now forms its eastern boundary), has a history beginning at a 
very early date. In 1763, at the end of that long struggle during 
which England passed many a mile post in her race for world 
empire, while France lost nearly as much as Britain gained — 
that struggle, called in America the French and Indian war — - 
the Mississippi river became an international boundary. The 
articles of the definite treaty of peace were signed at Paris, on 
February 10, 1763. The seventh article made the Mississippi, 
from its source to about the 31st degree of north latitude, the 
boundary between the English colonies on this continent and 
the French Louisiana. The text of the article is as follows: 
(Published in the "Gentleman's Magazine," Vol. 33, pages 121- 
126, March, 1763). 

"VII. In order to re-establish peace on solid and durable 
foundations, and to remove forever all subjects of dispute to the 


limits of the British and French Territories on the continent of 
America; — that for the future, the confines between the domains 
of his Britannic majesty and those of his most Christian majesty 
(the king of France) in that part of the world, shall be fixed 
irrevocably by a line drawn down the middle of the river Missis- 
sippi, from its source to the river Iberville, and from thence, by 
a line drawn along the middle of this river, and the Lake Maure- 
pas and Pontchartrain, to the sea." The boundary from the 
source of the river further north, or west, or in any direction, 
was not given ; it was evidently supposed that it would be of no 
importance, for many centuries, at least. 

This seventh article of the definite treaty was identical with 
the sixth article in the preliminary treaty of peace signed by 
England, Spain and France, at Fontainebleau, November 3, 1762. 
On that same day, November 3, 1762, the French and Spanish 
representatives had signed another act by which the French king 
"ceded to his cousin of Spain, and his successors forever * * * 
all the country known by the name of Louisiana, including New 
Orleans and the island on which that city is situated." This 
agreement was kept secret, but when the definite treaty was 
signed at Paris the following year, this secret pact went into 
efi'ect, and Spain at once became the possessor of the area 

At the close of the Revolutionary war, the territory east of 
the Mississippi, and north of the 31st parallel, passed under the 
jurisdiction of the United States. By the definite treaty of peace 
between the United States and Great Britain, ratified at Paris, 
September 3, 1783, a part of the northern boundary of the 
United States, and the western boundary thereof was established, 
as follovv'S: Commencing at the most northwestern point of the 
Lake of the Woods and from thence on a due course west to the 
Mississippi river (the Mississippi at that time was thought to 
extend into what is now Canada), thence by a line to be drawn 
along the middle of said Mississippi river until it shall intersect 
the northernmost part of the 31st degree of north latitude. (U. S. 
Statutes at Large, Vol. 8, page 82.) 

In 1800, by the secret treaty of San (or Saint) Ildefouso 
(signed October 1), Spain receded the indefinite tract west of the 
Mississippi to France, which nation did not, however, take formal 
possession until three years later, when the formality was made 
necessary in order that the tract might be ceded to the United 
States, Napoleon, for France, sold the tract to the United States, 
April 30, 1803. The region comprehended in the "Louisiana 
Purchase," as this area was called, included all the country west 
of the Mississippi, except those portions west of the Rocky 


mountains actually occupied by Spain, and extended as far north 
as the British territory. 

By an act of congress, approved October 31, 1803, the presi- 
dent of the United States was authorized to take possession of 
this territory, the act providing that "all the military, civil, and 
judicial powers exercised by the officers of the existing govern- 
ment, shall be vested in such person and persons, and shall be 
exercised in such manner as the president of the United States 
shall direct." (United States Statutes at Large, Vol. 2, page 

December 20, 1803, Louisiana was formally turned over to 
the United States at New Orleans, by M. Laussat, the civil agent 
of France, Avho a few days previous (November 30) had received 
a formal transfer from representatives of Spain. 

Louisiana District. By an act of congress, approved ]\Iarch 
26, 1801:, all of that portion of the country ceded by France to the 
United States under the name of Louisiana, lying south of the 
33d degree of north latitude, was organized as the territory of 
Orleans and all the residue thereof was organized as the district 
of Louisiana. That act contained the following provision: "The 
executive power now vested in the government of the Indiana 
territory shall extend to and be exercised in said district of 
Louisiana." The area set oif as the territory of Orleans was 
admitted as the state of Louisiana in 1812. 

Louisiana Territory. By an act of congress approved March 
3, 1805, all that part of the country, embraced in the district of 
Louisiana, Avas organized as a territory, called the territory of 

Missouri Territory. By an act of congress approved June 4, 
1814, it Avas provided that the territory hitherto called Louisiana 
should be called Missouri, and Avas organized as a territory. 
The struggles in congress Avhich led to the Missouri compromise ; 
the agreement that all territory west of Missouri and north of 
parallel 36° 36' should forever be free from the curse of slavery, 
and the final admission of Missouri Avitli her present boundaries, 
by presidential proclamation, August 10, 1821, are outside of 
the province of this history. Sufficient is it to say here that this 
admission left the land to the northAvard, including MoAver 
county, Avithout a fountain head of territorial government from 
1hat date until June 28, 1834, Avhen it Avas attached to Michigan. 

It is noAv necessary to turn to the events that had been 
trans]>irJiifr in regard to tlie government of the area east of the 
^Mississippi and iiort Invest of the Ohio river. 

The Northwest Territory embraced all the area of the United 
States nortliAvcst of the Ohio river. By the provisions of the 


famous "Northwest Ordinance, " passed July V\ 1787, by the 
Congress of the Confederation (the constitution of the United 
States not being adopted until September 17), tlie Ohio river 
became the boundary of the territory. The fifth article of the 
ordinance reads as follows: "Art. 5. There shall be formed in 
the said (i. e., the Northwest) territory, not less than three, nor 
more than tive states," * * * the western state in the said 
territory shall be bounded by the Mississippi, the Ohio and the 
Wabash rivers; a direct line drawn from the Wabash and Post 
Vincents, due north, to the territorial line between the United 
States and Canada; and by the said territorial line to the Lake 
of the Woods and the Mississippi. (See Executive Documents, 
3d session, 46th congress, 1880-81, Vol. 25, Doc. 47, Part 4, pages 
153-156; also United States Statutes at Large, Vol. 1, page 51, 
note a.) 

Indiana Territory. Tlie ordinance of 1787 provided for the 
organization of three "states'' out of the Northwest Territory. 
That same year the constitution of the United States was adopted. 
In 1799, Ohio organized a territorial government, but the middle 
and western "states" did not have, separately, sufficient popula- 
tion to warrant the establishment of two separate governments. 
Congress solved the difficulty by uniting the two under the name 
of Indiana. The act was passed May 7, 1800, and its first section 
reads as follows: "Section 1 — Be it enacted, etc., that from and 
after the fourth day of July next, all that part of the territory of 
the United States, northwest of the Ohio river, which lies to the 
westward of a line beginning at the Ohio opposite the moutli of 
the Kentucky river, and running thence to Fort Kecovery, and 
thence north until it shall intersect the territorial line between 
the United States and Canada, shall, for the purpose of tempo- 
rary government, constitute a separate territory, and be called 
the Indiana Territory." (U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 2, 
page 58.) Indiana was admitted as a state in 1816. 

Michigan Territory. By an act of congress passed June 11, 
1805, Michigan territory was fornfed. The boundaries were 
described as follows: "All that part of the Indiana territory 
which lies north of a line draAvn east from the southerly bend or 
extreme of Lake Michigan until it shall intersect Lake Erie, and 
east of a line drawn from the said southerly bend througli the 
middle of said lake to its northern extremity, and thence due 
north to the northern l)Oundary of the United States, shall for 
the piu'pose of temporary government constitute a separate terri- 
tory, to be called iMichigan. (U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 2, 
page 309.) Additions, noted further along in tliis artich", were 
later made to this territory. 

Illinois Territory. In 1S09, settlers had comk' in so fast timt 


there were sufficieut citizens in Indiana territory to snpport two 
governments. Accordingly, the territory of Illinois was estab- 
lished, February 3, 1809, by the following enactment: "Be it 
enacted, etc., That from and after the first day of March, next, all 
that part of the Indiana territory which lies west of the Wabash 
river and a direct line drawn from the said Wabash river and 
Post Vincennes, due north to the territorial line between the 
United States and Canada, shall for the purpose of temporary 
government constitute a separate territory, and be called Illinois. 
(U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 2, page 514.) Illinois was admitted 
p.s a state in 1818. 

Michigan Territory. The population of Illinois continued to 
increase, and the people were eager for a state government. The 
southern portion was therefore granted statehood privileges, and 
the northern portion, mainly unoccvipied, Avas cut off and added 
to the territory of Michigan, previously created. This transfer 
of territory was authorized in section 7 of the act passed April 18, 
1818, enabling Illinois to form a state government and constitu- 
tion. The terms of the act are as follows: "Section 7. And be 
it further enacted. That all that part of the territory of the 
United States lying north of the state of Indiana, and which was 
inebided in the former Indiana territory, together with that part 
of the Illinois territory which is situated north of, and not 
included within the boundaries prescribed by this act (viz., the 
boundaries of the state of Illinois) to the state thereby authorized 
to be formed, shall be and hereby is, attached to and made a 
part of the Michigan territory. Thus matters remained for 
sixteen years. 

Missouri, in the meantime, had been admitted as a state 
(1821), and the territory north of that state, and Avest of the 
Mississippi, was practically without organized authority from 
that year until 1834, when the increase of settlement made it 
advisable that the benefits of some sort of government should be 
extended to its area. Consequently, Michigan territory Avas 
extended to include this vast region. The act so enlarging 
Michigan territory passed congress June 28, 1834, in the folloAA'- 
:ng terms : "Be it enacted, etc.. That all that part of the territory 
of the United States, bounded on the east by the Mississippi river, 
on the south by the state of Missouri, and a line drawn due Avest 
from the northwest corner of said state to the Missouri river; on 
the soutliAvest and Avest by the Missouri riA^er and the White 
Earth river, falling into the same, and on the north by the north- 
era boundary of the United States, shall be, and hereby is, for the 
purpose of temporary government attached to and made a part 
oi, the territoiy of Michigan." (U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 4, 
page 701.) In less than two years, certain territory Avas set apart 


to form the proposed state of Michigan. This act passed congress 
April 20, 1836, but Michigan was not admitted until January 26, 
1837. (U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 5, pages 10-16.) 

Wisconsin Territory. When AVisconsin territory was organ- 
ized by an act of congress, April 20, 1836, all the Louisiana pur- 
cliase north of the state of Missouri was placed under its jurisdic- 
tion. This included Mower county. The boundaries as given 
at that time were as follows: "Bounded on the east by a line 
drawn from the northeast corner of the state of Illinois through 
the middle of Lake ]\Iichigan to a point in the middle of said 
lake and opposite the main channel of Green Bay and through 
said channel and Green Bay to the mouth of the Menominee 
river, thence through the middle of the main channel of said 
rivr-r to that head of said river nearest the Lake of the Desert, 
1 hence in a direct line to the middle of said lake, thence through 
tlie middle of the main channel of the Montreal river to its 
mouth ; thence with a direct line across Lake Superior to where 
the territorial line of the United States last touches said lake, 
northAvest, thence on the north with the said territorial line to the 
White Earth river (located in what is now Wood county. North 
Dakota). On the west by a line from the said boundary line, fol- 
lowing down the middle of the main channel of the White Earth 
river to the Missouri river, and down the middle of the main 
channel of the Missouri river to a point due west from the north- 
Avesi corner of the state of Missouri; and on the south from said 
point due east to the northwest corner of the state of Missouri, and 
thence with the boundaries of the states of Missouri and Illinois 
as already fixed by act of congress. (U. S. Statutes at Large, 
'Vol. 5, page 18.) It is interesting to note in this connection that 
two sessions of the Wisconsin territorial legislature were held at 
whfit is now Burlington, Iowa. 

Iowa Territory. The territory of Iowa Avas created by the 
act of congress, June 12, 1838, which act divided the territory 
of Wisconsin along the Mississippi river and named the western 
part, Iowa. The act provided : ' ' That from and after the third 
day of July, next, all that part of the present territory of Wis- 
consin AA'hich lies west of the INIississippi river and west of a line 
draAvn due south from the head waters or sources of the Missis- 
sippi to the territorial lines, shall, for the purpose of temporary 
government, be and constitute a separate territorial government, 
by the name of loAva." The area noAV embracing ]\IoAver couuty 
Avas included Avithin these lines. 

loAva remained a territory from 1838 to 18-16. The greater 
part of southern and southeastern INIinnesota Avas Avithin the 
jurisdiction of Clayton county. Henry 11. Sibley Avas a justice 
of the peace in that county. The county seat Avas 2r)0 miles 


distant from his home iu ^leudota, and his jm'isdietion extended 
over a region of eountry, which, as he expressed it, was "as 
large as the empire of France." A convention of duly authorized 
representatives of the people remained in session at Iowa City 
from October 7 to November 1, 1844, and framed a state consti- 
tution. It was provided that the constitution adopted, together 
with any alterations which might subsequently be made by con- 
gress, should be submitted to the people of the territory for their 
approval or re.jection at the township elections in April, 1845. 
The boundaries of the proposed new state, as defined in the con- 
stitution, were in part as follows: '' * * * Thence up in the 
middle of the main channel of the river last mentioned (the 
I\lissouri) to the mouth of the Sioux or Calumet river; thence in 
a direct, line to the middle of the main channel' of the St. Peter's 
(Minnesota) river, where the Watonwan river — according to 
Nicollet's map — enters the same, thence down the middle of the 
main channel of said river to the middle of the Mississippi river ; 
thence down the middle of said river to the place of beginning." 
This would have included in the state of Iowa Mower county, and 
in fact, all the counties of what is now IMinnesota that lie south 
and east of the Minnesota as far as Mankato, also including Fari- 
bault county and nearly all of Martin, the greater part of Blue 
Earth and portions of AVatonwan, Cottonwood nd Jackson. 

Congress rejected these boundary lines, and March 3, 1845, 
in its enabling act, substituted the following description of the 
proposed boundaries: "Beginning at the mouth of the Des 
Moines river, in the middle of the Mississippi ; thence by the 
middle of the channel of that river to the parallel of latitude 
passing through the moiith of the IMankato or Blue Earth river ; 
thence west along said parallel of latitude to a point where it is 
intersected by a meridian line 17° 30' west of the meridian of 
Washington City; thence due south to the northern boundary 
line of the state of Missouri; thence eastwardly following tliat 
boundary to the point at which the same intersects with the Des 
Moines river ; thence by the middle of the channel of that river 
to the place of beginning." Thus the soutliern boundary of 
Minnesota would haA^e been on a line due east from the present 
city oC ]\Iankato to the Mississippi river and due west from the 
same point to a point in Brown county. This would have included 
in Iowa all but a small fraction of the counties of Winona, Olm- 
stead. Dodge, Steele, AVaseka and Blue Earth, portions of Brown, 
Watonwan and Martin; and all of Faribault, Freeborn, Slower, 
Fillmore and Houston. This reduction in its proposed territory 
was not pleasing to those citizens of Iowa who wished the state 
to have its boundaries to include the Minnesota river from the 
Blue Earth to the ^Mississippi and the Mississippi from the Minne- 


sota river to the Missouri state Hue. This chaugiug in the bound- 
ary was really a political measure, a part of those battles in 
congress over free and slave states which preceded the Civil war. 
The boundaries as proposed by congress were rejected by the 
people of Iowa after a bitter campaign. August 4, 1846, congress 
passed a second enabling act, which was accepted by the people 
by a narrow margin of 456, the vote being 9,492 for and 9,036 
against. This second act placed the northern boundary of Iowa 
still further south, but added territory to the west. The northern 
boundary of Iowa, as described in the enabling act, was identical 
with the parallel of 43° 30' north, from the Big Sioux river east- 
ward to the Mississippi. This, with the exception of the short 
distance from the Big Sioux river to the present western boundary 
of Minnesota, is the present southern boundary of our state. 
Minnesota's southern boundary, as thus described, was carefully 
surveyed and marked within six yeai's of its acceptance by Iowa. 
Tlie work was authorized March 3, 1849, and two appropriations 
of $1,500 each were soon made. The survey was completed during 
the years 1849 to 1852, at a total cost of $32,277.73. Although the 
work was done with the best instruments then known, an error of 
twenty-three chains, evidently due to carelessness, was discovered 
within a year. Iowa was admitted as a state December 28, 1846. 
Wisconsin State. Wisconsin soon wished to become a state. 
The northwestern boundary provoked considerable discussion 
both in congress and in the two constitutional conventions whicli 
were called. There were some who wished to include all the 
remaining portion of the northwest territory within the boand- 
aries of the new proposed state. The two prevailing coteries, 
however, were the ones between whom the fight really centered. 
One body wished the northwestern boundary of the new state 
(Wisconsin) to extend up the Mississippi as far as the Rum river, 
where the city of Anoka is now situated, thence northeastAvardly 
to the first rapids of the St. Louis river and thence lo Lake Supe- 
rior. The residents of the St. Croix valley, and those living on 
the east side of the Mississippi, between the St. Croix and the 
Hum river, constituted the other party and objected to being 
included in the proposed state of Wisconsin. They declared tJuit 
they were separated from the settled portions of Wisconsin l)y 
hundreds of miles of barren land, and still more greatly separated 
ty a ditiPerence in the interests and character of the inhabitants. 
They proposed that the northwest boundary of the new state 
should be a line drawn due south from Shagwamigan bay, on Lake 
Superior, to the intersection of the main Chippewa river, and 
from thence down the middle of said river to its debouchure into 
the Mississippi. Residents of the district affected and also about 
Fort Snelling and on the west bank of tlic ^Mississij^pi furtlicr u|> 


joined, in a memorial to congress, citing the grave injustice tliat 
would be done the proposed territory of ]\Iinnesota if it were left 
without a single point on the Mississippi below St. Anthony's 
falls, the limit of navigation. Among those who signed this 
memorial were H. H. Sibley and Alexander Faribault. The result 
of the controversy was a compromise adopting a middle line along 
the St. Croix and St. Louis rivers. 

The enabling act for the state of AA'isconsin, approved August 
6, 1S46, provided: "That the people of the territory of AViseonsin 
be and they are hereby authorized to form a constitution and 
state government * * * with the following boundaries, to-wit : 
* * * thence through the center of Lake Superior to the mouth 
of the St. Louis river, thence up the main channel of said river 
to the first rapids in the same, above the Indian village, according 
to Nicollet's map; thence due south to the main branch of the 
River St. Croix ; thence down the main channel of said river to 
the Mississippi ; thence down the maua channel of said river to tlie 
northwest corner of the state of Illinois, thence due east * * *." 
This is the first and incidentally the present description of Alinne- 
sota's eastern boundary. (United States Statutes at Large, Vol. 9, 
page 56.) 

The convention that framed the constitution of AVisconsiu in 
1847-48 strongly desired the Rum river as their eastern boundary. 
After accepting the boundary chosen by congress the convention 
recommended a line which, if agreeable to congress, should replace 
the one in the enabling act. The proposed boundary, which was 
rejected, was described as follows: Leaving the aforesaid bound- 
ary line at tlie first rapids of the St. Louis river, thence in a 
direct line, bearing southwestwardly to the mouth of the Isko- 
dewabo or Rum river, where the same empties into the Missis- 
sippi river, thence down the main channel of the said Mississippi 
river to the aforesaid boundary. (Charters and Constitutions of 
the L'nitod States, Part ii, page 2030.) 

Minnesota Territory. The events which led up to tlie estab- 
lishing of Minnesota as a territory can be given but brief mention 
here. Sulficient is it to say that for three years after the admis- 
sion of Iowa (in 1846) the area that is now Minnesota, west of 
the Mississippi, Avas practically a no-man's land. December 18, 
1846, Morgan L. Martin, delegate from AVisconsin territory, gave 
notice to the house of representatives that "at an early day" he 
would ask leave to introduce a bill establishing the territorial 
government of Minnesota. The name, which is the Indian term 
for Avhat was then the river St. Peter (Pierre) and has now become 
its official designation was, it is believed, applied to the proposed 
territory at the suggestion of Joseph R. BroAvn. During its con- 
sideration by congress the l)iU underwent various changes. As 


reported back to the house, the name "Minnesota" had been 
changed by Stephen A. Douglas to "Itasca." Mr. Martin imme- 
diately moved that the name "Minnesota" be placed in the bill in 
place of ' ' Itasca. " " Chippewa, " " Jackson ' ' and ' ' Washington ' ' 
were also proposed. After many motions, counter motions and 
amendments, "Minnesota" was placed in the bill, which with a 
minor change passed the house. In the senate it was rejected. 
A second attempt was made two years later. January 10, 1848, 
Stephen A. Douglas gave due notice to the senate that "at a 
future day"' lie would introduce a bill to establish the territory 
of Minnesota. He brought in the bill February 23. It was several 
dmes read, was amended, referred to committee and discussed, 
but congress adjourned August l-l without taking ultimate action 
on the proposition. 

In the meantime "Wisconsin Avas admitted to the Union ]\Iay 29, 
1848, and the western half of what was then St. Croix county was 
left outside the new state. The settled portions of the area thus 
cut off from Wisconsin by its admission to statehood privileges 
were in the southern part of the peninsula of land lying between 
tlie ]\tississippi and the St. Croix. 

The people of this area were now confronted with a serious 
problem. As residents of the territory of Wisconsin they had 
enjoj'ed the privileges of citizenship in the United States. By 
the creation of the state of Wisconsin they were disfranchised 
and left without the benefits of organized government. Thus, 
Stillwater, which had been the governmental seat of a growing 
county (St. Croix), was left outside the pale of organized law. 
Legal minds disagreed on the question of whether the minor civil 
officers, such as justices of the peace, created under the territorial 
organization, were still qualified to exercise the authority of their 
positions. At a meeting held at St. Paul, in July, 1848, the citizens 
of that (then) village considered the necessity for the formation 
of a new territory. August 5 a meeting of citizens of the area 
west of the St. Croix was held at Stillwater, and it was decided 
to call a general convention at that place, August 26, 1848, for a 
three-fold purpose : 1 — To elect a territorial delegate to congi-ess. 
2 — To organize a territory with a name other than Wisconsin. 
3 — To determine whether tlie laws and organization of the old 
territory of Wisconsin were still in effect now that a part of that 
territory was organized as a state. In the call for this meeting, 
the signers called themselves, "AVe, the undersigned citizens of 
Minnesota territory." Tlie meeting was held pursuant to tlie 
call. Action was taken in regard to the first proposition by the 
election of II. H. Sibley, who was authorized to proceed to Wash- 
ington and use such efforts as were in hi^s power to secure the 
organization of the territory of ^Minnesota. In regard fo the 


second proposition a memorial was addressed to the president oC 
the United States, stating the reasons why the organization of 
Minnesota territory was necessary. The third proposition pre- 
sented technical points worthy of the attention of the wisest legal 
minds. The state of "Wisconsin had been organized, but the terri- 
tory of Wisconsin had not been abolished. AVas not, therefore, 
the territory still in existence, and did not its organization and 
its laws still prevail in the part of the territory that had not been 
included in the state 1 If territorial government was in existence 
Yvould it not give the residents thereof a better standing before 
the nation in their desire to become Minnesota territory ? IMight 
not this technicality give the delegate a seat in congress when 
otherwise he must, as simply the representative of an unorganized 
area, make his requests in the lobby and to the individual mem- 
bers? John Catlin, who had been secretary of the territory of 
Wisconsin before the organization of that state, declared that the 
territory still existed in the area not included in the organized 
state and that he was the acting governor. Accordingly, the 
people of the cut-off portion organized as the "Territory of Wis- 
consin," and named a day for the election of a delegate. In the 
closely contested election, held October 30, 1848, Sibley won out 
against Henry M. Rice and accordingly made his way to Wash- 
ington, technically from the "Territory of AVisconsin," actually 
as a representative of the proposed territory of Minnesota. As a 
matter of fact, indeed, Sibley, living at Mendota, had ceased to be 
a citizen of the territory of Wisconsin in 1838, when Iowa territory 
was created, and was a resident of the part of Iowa territory 
which the organization of the state of Iowa had left without a 
government, rather than of that territory in question (between 
the Mississippi and the St. Croix) which the admission of Wis- 
consin as a state had left without a government. Sibley was, how- 
ever, after much opposition, admitted to congress and given a 
seat January 15, 1849. He at once set about securing friends for 
the proposition to create Minnesota territory. December 4, 1848, 
a few days previous to Sibley's admission to congress, Stephen A. 
Douglas had announced that it was his intention to introduce 
anew a bill to establish the territory of Minnesota. Like the pre- 
vious attempt, this bill underwent various vicissitudes. As passed, 
March 3, 1849, the act creating the territory read as follows: "Be 
it enacted, * * * That from and after the passage of this act, 
all that part of the territory of the United States which lies 
within tlie following limits, to-Avit : Beginning in the Mississippi 
river at a point where the line of 43° and 30' of north latitude 
crosses the same, thence running due west on said line, wliieli is 
the northern boundary of the state of Iowa, to the northwest 
corner of the said state of Iowa ; thence southerly along the west- 


ern boundary of said state to the point Avhere said boundary 
strikes the Missouri river; thence up the middle of the main cliau- 
nel of the Missouri river to the mouth of the White Earth river ; 
thence up tlie middle of the main channel of the White Earth river 
to the boundary line between the possessions of the United States 
and Great Britain ; thence east and south of east along the bound- 
ary line betvi^een the possessions of the United States and Great 
Britain to Lake Superior ; thence in a straight line to the northern- 
most point of the state of Wisconsin, in Lake Superior; thence 
along the vpestern boundary of the state of Wisconsin to the 
Mississippi river ; thence down the main channel of said river to 
the place of beginning, and the same is hereby erected into a 
temporary government by the name of the territory of 

The executive power of the territory of IMinnesota was vested 
in a governor, (appointed by the president, whose term of office 
was four years, unless sooner removed by the president), who 
was also superintendent of Indian atfairs. The legislative power 
was vested in a governor and a legislative assembly, consisting 
of a council of nine members, whose term of ottice was two years, 
and a house of representatives of eighteen members, whose term 
of office was one year. It was provided that the number of mem- 
bers in the council and the house might be increased by the legis- 
lative assembly from time to time in proportion to the increase 
in population, but that the whole number should not exceed fifteen 
councillors and thirty-nine representatives. It was provided that 
the first election should be held at such time and place and be con- 
ducted in svich manner as the governor should appoint and direct. 
and that the persons thus elected to the legislative assembly should 
meet at such place, and on such days as the governor should 
appoint, but thereafter the time and place and manner of holding 
and conducting all elections by the people, and the apportioning 
the representatives in the several counties and districts, to tlie 
council and house of representatives, according to the population, 
should be prescribed by law, as well as the day of the com- 
mencement of the regular sessions of the legislative assembly, but 
that no session should exceed sixty days. 

Every white male inhabitant above the age of twenty-one, who 
was a resident of the territory at the time of the passage of the 
act organizing the same, was entitled to vote and eligible to 
office at the tirst election. But the qualification of voters and of 
holding office at all subsequent elections should be such as should 
be prescribed by the legislative assembly. It was provided by 
the act that all laws passed by the legislative assembly should bi- 
submitted to congress, and if disapproved by it. should be null and 
of no effect. The laws in force in tlie li-rrilory of Wisconsin after 


the date of the admission of the state of Wisconsin Avere con- 
tinued to be valid and in operation in the territory of ^Minnesota 
so far as not incompatible Avith the provisions of the act of organi- 
zation of the territory of jMinnesota, subject to be altered, modified 
or repealed by the governor and legislative assembly of said terri- 
tory. All justices of the peace, constables, sheriffs and all other 
judicial and ministerial officers who were in office within the limits 
of the territory at the time of law organizing the territory was 
approved were authorized and required to continue to exercise 
and perform the duties of their respective offices as officers of the 
territory of Minnesota temporarily and until they, or others, 
should be appointed and qualified in the manner therein described 
or until their offices should be abolished. 

The governor was given the veto power, and the council and 
iiouse could pass a bill over his veto ])y a two-thirds vote. The 
judicial power of the territory was vested in a supreme court, 
district court, probate court and in justices of the peace. Tlie 
supreme court consisted of a chief justice and two associate jus- 
tices, appointed by the president, whose term of office was four 
years and whose salary was $1,800 a year. 

The territory was by the act of organization required to be 
divided into three judicial districts, and the district court to be 
held therein by one of the judges of the supreme court at such 
times and places as might be prescribed by law, and the judges 
thereof were required to reside in the districts assigned to thorn. 
The clerks of said courts were appointed by the judges thereof. 

The United States officers of the territory were a governor, 
secretary, chief justice, two associate justices, attorney and mar- 
shal, appointed by the president with the advice and consent of 
the senate of the United States. The governor received a salary 
of •'l!l,500 a year as governor and $1,000 a year as superintendent 
of Indian affairs. The chief justice and associate justices and 
secretary received a salary of $1,800 a year, and the members of 
the legislative assembly $3 a day during their attendance upon 
the sessions thereof and $3 each day for every twenty miles tniv- 
eled going to and returning therefrom. 

State of Minnesota. Tlie people of the territory of ]\Ininesota 
were ]]ot long content with a territorial government. In the 
wovds of A. N. AVincliell, "December 24, 1856, the delegate from 
tlie territory of .Minnesota introduced a l)ill to authorize the 
people of that territory to form a constitution and state govern 
ment. Tlie l)il] limited tlie proposed state on the west liv tlie 
]^-<1 Kiver of file Xortii antl the Big Sioux I'iver. It was I'cferred 
to the committee on territories, of which Mr. Grow, of Pennsyl- 
vania, was eluiiinum. January 31, 1857, the chairman reported a 
subslitute, whicii dift'ei'ed from the original bill in no essential 



respect except in regard to the western boundary. The change 
tliere consisted in adopting a line through Traverse and Big Stom; 
lakes, due south from the latter to the Iowa line. The altered 
boundary cut ott' a narrow strip of territory, estimated by Mr. 
GroAv to contain between five and six hundred square miles. 
Today the strip contains such towns as Sioux Falls, Watertowu 
and Brookings. The substitute had a stormy voyage through con- 
gress, especially in the senate, but finally completed the trip on 
February 25, 1857." 

The enabling act, as passed and approved February 26, 1857, 
defined the boundaries of Minnesota as follows: "Be it enac^ted, 
* * * That the inhabitants of that portion of the territory of 
Minnesota, which is embraced with the following limits, to-wit : 
Beginning at the point in the center of the main channel of the 
Red River of the North, where the boundary line between the 
United States and the British possessions crosses the same ; thence 
up the main channel of said river to that of the Bois des Sioux 
river ; thence (up) the main channel of said river to Lake Travers ; 
thence up the center of said lake to the southern extremity 
thereof ; thence in a direct line to the head of Big Stone lake ; 
thence through its center to its outlet ; thence by a due south line 
to the north line of the state of Iowa ; thence east along the north- 
ern boundary of said state to the main channel of the Mississippi 
river; thence up the main channel of said river and following 
the boundary line of the state of AVisconsin, until the same inter- 
sects the St. Louis river; thence down said river to and through 
Lake Superior, on the boundary line of Wisconsin and IMichigan, 
until it intersects the dividing line between the United States and 
the British possession ; thence up Pigeon river and following said 
dividing line to the place of beginning; be and the same are 
thereby authorized to form for themselves a constitution and state 
government, by the name of the state of Minnesota, and to come 
into the Union on an equal footing with the original states, accord- 
ing to the federal constitution." 

These boundaries were accepted witliout change and are the 
boundaries of the state at the present time. The state Avas 
admitted May 11, 1858. 

It will therefore be seen that the territorial claim of title to 
IMower county was first embraced in the papal gi-ant to Spain, 
May 4, 1493. It was then included in the indefinite chiiins made 
by Spain to lands north and northwest of liei- sett leiiieiils in Mex- 
ico, Florida and the West Indies; by tiie Englisli to jjinds west of 
their Atlantic coast settlements, and by tlu^ French to hinds south, 
west and southwest of their Canadian setllemenls. 'I'he first 
definite claim to territory now embracing .Mowei- county was made 
by La Salle cit tlie mouth of the Mississi|)i)i. .Maivli S. 1(1S2. in tin- 


name of the king of France, and the second (still more definite) 
by Perrot near the present site of Trempealeau, Wis., May 8, 1689. 
This was also a French claim. France remained in tacit authority 
until February 10, 1763, when, upon England's acknowledging 
the French authority to lands west of the Mississippi, France, by 
a previous secret agreement, turned her authority over to Spain. 
October 1, 1800, Spain ceded the tract to France, but France did 
not take formal possession until November 30, 1803, and almost 
immediately, December 20, 1803, turned it over to the United 
States, the Americans having purchased it from Napoleon April 
30 of that year. 

]\Iarch 26, 1804, the area that is now ]Mower county was 
included in Louisiana district as a part of Indiana and so 
remained until March 3, 1805. From March 3, 1805, to June 4, 
1812, it was a part of Louisiana territory. From June 4, 1812, 
until August 10, 1820, it was a part of Missouri territory. From 
August 10, 1821, until June 28, 1834, it was outside the pale of 
all organized government, except that congress had general juris- 
diction. From June 28, 1834, to April 20, 1836, it was a part of 
Michigan territory. From April 20, 1836, to June 12, 1838, it was 
a part of Wisconsin territory. From June 12, 1838, to December 
28, 1846, it was a part of the territory of Iowa and was included 
in the boundaries at first proposed for the state of Iowa. From 
December 28, 1846, to March 3, 1849, it was again without terri- 
torial affiliation. From March 3, 1849, to May 11, 1858, it was a 
part of Minnesota territory, and on the latter date became an 
integral part of that sovereign state. 




No Evidence That the French Explorers Ever Saw Mower County 
— United States Dragoons the First White Men to Leave a 
Record of Having Visited This Locality — Expedition of 1835 
— Four Conipanies Under Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen W. 
Kearney, with Albert Lea in Command of Company I, Cross 
Mower County Twice — Major Lawrence Taliaferro, Dr. John 
Emerson and the Slave, Dred Scott, Visit the County in 1836 
— Henry H. Sibley, Alexander Faribault, John C. Fremont 
and William H. Forbes Here in 1840— Svxrveying Party in 
1852 — Another in 1853 — Township and Section Lines Are 

From time immemorial until some time after the coming of 
the whites, the territory now embraced in Mower county was the 
hunting ground of the Indians. As there were no permanent 
Indian villages here, and little of geographic interest in the sweep 
of prairie now embraced in southern Minnesota and northern 
Iowa, none of the earlier explorers, so far as we know, visited 
Mower county. Hennepin with his two companions, Pickard du 
Guy (Auguelle) and JMiehael Accault (Ako), who explored the 
upper Mississippi in 1680; Perrot, who had trading posts about 
Lake Pepin as early as 1685 ; LeSueur, who built a fort near Red 
Wing on Prairie Island in 1695, and one near ^Mankato in 1700; 
La Hontau, who wrote marvelous accounts of adventures, and 
who is now entirely discredited by historians; Jonathan Carver, 
who ascended the upper ^Mississippi in 1766 ; Lieutenant Zebulon 
M. Pike, who explored the upper jMississippi in 1805-06 ; Colonel 
Henry Leavenworth, who is 1819 started at IMendota in what is 
now Dakota county, the fort which was afterward moved across 
the river and became Fort Snelling; ]Major Stephen H. Long, who 
explored the upper iMississippi in 1817 and 1823; Governor Lewis 
Cass, who in 1820 explored the principal sources of the :\Iissis- 
sippi and then descended the river; William ^Morrison, Avho vis- 
ited Lake Itasca in 1802 and is usually credited as tlie discoverer 
of the source of the ^lississippi ; Henry R. Sclioolcraft, who in 
1832 explored northern ^Minnesota ; George Featlierstone, who 
made a geological survey of the ^Minnesota valley in 1835; George 
Catlin, who made a faitliful study of the Indians of Minnesota; 
Jean Nicollet, whose activities in the thirties and forties con- 
tributed much to ^Minnesota geography, and David Dale Owen, 
who explored large portions of tlic state in 1847. '48, '4!) ami '50, 


and whose names are honored as the early explorers of Minne- 
sota, all failed, so far as we know, to make Mower county a visit. 
The explorers of the rivers of Iowa which have their source in 
Mower county, also failed to reach this county in the early days. 

It is possible that missionaries, renegades, traders or hunters 
visited this region, in the days of the early exploration, but of 
this historians have no record or knowledge, although those who 
enjoy speculation and conjecture think it quite possible the 
Frenchmen from the posts of Perrot on Lake Pepin, the stockades 
at Frontenac, or the forts at Prairie Island and Mankato may 
have come here after game. 

The first record that historians have obtained of a visit to 
Mower county by the whites is contained in a manuscript edited 
and published by the Iowa Historical Society, and entitled "A 
Journal of Marches by the First United States Dragoons, 1834- 
45," and published in the July, 1909. issue of the "Iowa Journal 
of History and Politics." 

The First United States Dragoons was a military organization 
created by Congress in March, 1833, for the more perfect defense 
of the frontier, and was as fine a body of men as had ever been 
gathered for a similar purpose, having been recruited from espe- 
cially selected men in every state in the Union in the summer 
months of 1833. Tlie commanding officer of this regiment of ten 
companies were Colonel Henry Dodge. The rendezvous of the 
regiment was Jetiferson Barracks, near St. Louis, where tlie com- 
panies were drilled and instructed in the fall of 1833. 

The Journal records the four distinct marches or campaigns 
in which Company I participated. Of these the fourth only is of 
interest to the people of IMower county. The authorship of the 
Journal has not yet been determined. At two different places 
the author has signed himself as "L" and he states that he was 
a member of Company I, commanded by Captain Browne. At 
one time the authorship was attributed to Colonel Albert ]\Iiller 
Lea, but internal evidence in the Journal would seem to prove, 
hoAvever, that such is not the case, and that it was written either 
by an officer of lower rank or by a private. 

The fourth trip, which has so much interest to the people of 
Mower county, records the story of a march of 1,100 miles by 
Companies B, H and I, under Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen AV. 
Kearney. On June 7, 1835, this detachment left Fort Des ^loines 
and marched between the Des Moines and Skunk rivers to near 
the mouth of the Boone river. Then taking a northeastwardly 
convse across Iowa, they entered what is now ^linnesota. crossed 
Mower county, and reached AVabashaw's village on the ^lissis- 
sip])] ;it in-actically the present site of Winona. After remaining 
tlici'c a})Out a Avcek, the comiianics marclied somewhat to the 


soutli of westwardly. They crossed the present ]\Io\ver county 
and continued westward, then turning southward, and entering 
Iov.\i in what is now Kossuth county, reaching tlie Des Moines 
river safely. After crossing this river, they descended it on the 
lower side and reached Fort Des Moines on August 19. 1835. 
without the loss of a single horse or man. Lieutenant Albert 
INIiller Lea, commanding Company I, of the expedition, was the 
ofTicial topographer, and in his honor Nicollet afterward named 
a previously undesignated lake which the expedition passed in 
the present Freeborn county. 

On the evening of Sunday, June 28, 1835, tlie Dragoons, on 
their northeasterly course from the Des Moines river, camped on 
the banks of the Red Cedar river in Mitchell county, Iowa, near 
Osage. The soldiers killed several buft'alo and captured a buffalo 
calf. The next day they crossed the Red Cedar and marched 
twenty-five miles, bringing them well into Mower county. The 
following entry is found in the Journal: "Tuesday, June 30, 
1835, marched twenty-five miles. Land, kind of oak barren. By 
the appearance of some deserted wigwams, we suppose the Soux 
(Sioux) have been here lately." The next day's march of twelve 
miles, carried the soldiers out of the coiinty and toward the 
present site of Winona. 

On the return journey, the expedition reached ]\Iower county 
on ]\tonday, July 27, 1835. The soldiers crossed the upper Iowa 
near the present site of Le Roy and the Red Cedar near the pres- 
ent site of Austin, continviing on their way into the present Free- 
born county. The entries in the Journal are as follows: "]\[on- 
day, July 27, 1835. An early start. Came only ten miles. Crossed 
the Iway (the upper Iowa). Spent seven hours in crossing. Bad 
traveling and bad encampment. Tuesday, July 28. This day 
we marched fifteen miles. Crossed the south fork of the Iway 
(now the Red Cedar river). Spent three hours in passing. 
Marching bad. Encampment good." It will be seen from this 
that the writer of the Journal underestimated the distance that 
the Dragoons traveled from the upper Iowa to the Red Cedar 

In 1836, one year after the trip of the Dragoons, and six years 
after the ceding of the "Neutral Strip" (just south of Mower 
county), a party of officers started on a hunting trip from Fort 
Snelling. They reached the present site of Faribault, came down 
the source of the Straight river, touched tlu^ head waters of the 
Zumbro branch east of Blooming Prairie, and then reached the 
Red Cedar, passing tlirough what is now Slower county. Some- 
where after leaving the Zumbro, and l)efore reaching the 
"Neutral Strip," they camped for the night, and from the loca- 
tions given in TaliaFcrro's jouiMiiil. tlic ciim]) must have b.'cii 


somewhere neai' what is now Austin. Tlie party was headed by 
Major Lawrence Taliaferro, and among the hunters was Dr. John 
Emerson, the surgeon at Fort Snelling. ' With Dr. Emerson was 
his slave Dred, who had just been married to Harriett, whom 
Major Taliaferro had sold to Dr. Emerson. This Dred afterward 
became world famous in the "Dred Scott case," which was on;.- 
of the incidents in the train of events which did not end until 
tlif close of the Civil Avar. 

A party of famous pioneer hunters visited IMow^er county in 
1840. In the fall of that year Henry H. Sibley, Alexander Fari- 
bault, William H. Forbes and John C. Fremont started with a 
party of Sioux and two Canadian voyageurs for the "Neutral 
Land" which the government had purchased from the Sioux, the 
Sax and the Foxes. Jack Eraser joined the party near the pres- 
ent city of Faribault. The party reached the Red Cedar river 
somewhere in the present ]\Iower county. At some point on this 
river a camp was made, and Sibley, Eraser and two Canadians 
accompanied Fremont to Prairie du Chien, where Jean N. Nicol- 
lett aw^aited him. Leaving Fremont at that point, the four 
returned to the camp, being accompanied a part of the way by 
a hunter named Reed. A few days later the party of white men 
left the Sioux in camp on the Red Cedar and returned to 

In October, 1841, H. H. Sibley, then thirty years of age, was 
agent at Mendota, across the river from Fort Snelling, Minne- 
sota, for the American Fur Company. He was active and vigor- 
ous to obtain skins and peltries for the company. He made a 
feast, invited the Sioux, killed two fat oxen and provided wild 
rice and other inducements suitable for an Indian holiday. Invi- 
tations had been sent out to the neighboring villages, and nearly 
a thousand men, squaws and children came to the feast. After 
the Indians had satisfied their hunger and had smoked his tobacco, 
Sibley explained to them that his object was to enlist a party to 
go to the south that coming winter and hunt on the neutral ground 
and around the headwaters of the Red Cedar. Small sticks six 
inches long and painted red were produced and one was offered to 
each grown hunter. It had been explained to them that whoever 
voluntarily accepted one of these red sticks thereby enlisted for 
the winter's hunt. About one hundred and fifty men thus 
enlisted. These men then assembled a short distance from the 
scene of the feast and chose ten of their number, whom they 
called soldiers, to have control of the hunting. These ten, after 
consulting together, announced the rules to govern the hunt and 
notified the enlisted men to appear on the hill south of j\Iendota 
in six days thereafter with their ponies, squaws, dogs and buffalo 
skin tcnis ready to start. 


At the appointed time the party assembled and started south. 
The chief Indian of the party was Little Crow, father of the cliiei 
of the same name who took part in the massacre of 1862. Tlie 
usual day's progress was about ten miles. They went from j\Ien- 
dota south over the prairie until they struck the Cannon river, 
near Northfield, then up that, and the Straight river, by Fari- 
bault and Owatonna, to near Cooleysville, in the southeastern 
part of Steele county. There they crossed over to the Cedar river 
and came down its right hand bank to the timber at this place, 
Austin, or a little south of here, and camped for the winter. 

Sibley was with them, clad in Indian costume, with double- 
barreled rifle, pistols and two big wolf dogs at his heels. He had 
with him two French-Canadians and a number of kegs of powder 
and other goods on carts, to sell to the Indians and hold claim 
to the furs and skins which the hunt should produce. 

On his advice, the Indians built here a stockade. Posts with 
crotch on their tops were set firmly into the ground. Poles were 
laid on top from post to post. Then other posts, ten feet or more 
in length, Avere set, one end on the ground and the other leaning 
against the poles. Brush and the tops of trees were cut and piled 
by the squaws with great industry, outside against the line of 
posts until it was impossible for an enemy to break through with- 
out consuming a good deal of time, all the while exposed to the 
fire, through loopholes, of the good marksmen within. This was 
the first structure of any kind built in what is now Mower county. 
Sibley and the Indians alike put small trust in the treaty of amity 
concluded at Prairie du Chien. They well knew that such treaties 
between Indians usually end in treachery and bloodshed. Now 
that they were on the border of their own country and about to 
hunt over the neutral ground, where in fact they had no right, 
they deemed it expedient to build this stockade as a safeguard. 
There was a great abundance of game on this neutral ground, as 
it had not been hunted over since its relinquishment eleven years 
before, to the United States, by the treaty of July 15, 1830. 

One day Sibley Avent out early with his two wolf dogs for a 
still hunt, alone. In his absence Little Crow, always reckless and 
daring, Avent off south, down toward the forks of the Cedar, near 
Avhere Charles City now stands, for a three days' hunt on the 
border or even over the line in the enemies' country. He took 
Avith him nearly all the young men of the camp. "When Sibley 
returned at sunset, the squaAvs told him of Little CroAv's absence 
and that a hostile Indian spy had been seen lurking in the vicin- 
ity. He at once sallied forth Avith liis dogs to verify the report. 
There Avas no mistake, for in the light snoAv on the ground he 
saAv the moccasin tracks of the spy. He armed the old men and 
boys remaining in the camp, assigned to each his place jind 


awaited the expected attack. About three o'clock in the morn- 
ing, the Indian dogs outside began to bark furiously. The 
women screamed and the old men sang their death songs. Sibley 
ordered silence and directed that every pistol and gun be shot oft' 
as rapidly as possible and reloaded. He himself fired five shots 
from his gun and pistols. The enemy were thereby deceived as to 
the number of fighting men in camp and made no attack. After 
sunrise next morning the ground was examined and it was appar- 
ent that at least fifty hostile warriors had tied their horses to trees 
in a grove at some distance away. An Indian boy Avas sent with 
all speed to Little Crow's camp doAvn the river, to tell the news 
and order him to return without delay. About midnight the 
hunters returned and Sibley's tense nervous anxiety abated. 

At the close of each day, when the Indians ca-me in, the ten so- 
called soldiers would announce the direction and limits of the 
next day's hunt. This limit would be about ten miles away, indi- 
cated by a stream or slough or a grove or by some other natural 
object. Early next morning some of these soldiers would go 
forward and station themselves along the limit line, to detect and 
punish anyone who should attempt to pass and frighten away the 
game beyond. The penalty for violation of the rules was in the 
discretion of these ten so-called soldiers. In aggravated cases 
they would slit down and cut up the offender's lodge, break his 
kettles and do other damage. This enterprising trader (after- 
ward first governor of this state) says, in his narrative of the 
winter's events, that on one occasion he inadvertently got beyond 
the line fixed for that day's hunt. One of the soldiers, hid in the 
tall grass, sprang up and rushed upon him, seized his fine double- 
barreled gun, snatched his fur cap from his head and ordered him 
back to camp, saying lie would cut up his tent when he returned 
in the evening. It was a cold day and Sibley had to ride bare- 
headed, ten miles to camp. The soldiers had supreme command of 
the hunting and all its rules and regulations. It was considered 
very disgraceful for any one whether hunter, trader or even chief 
of the tribe to disobey or resist these governors of the hunt. On 
the M^ay in he devised a plan to mollify the soldiers and save his 
fine buffalo skin lodge. He got together all the good things he 
could muster and when the soldiers came in that night, he went 
out and invited all the ten to have supper with him in his lodge. 

The temptation was too strong and they accepted, ate his 
supper, smoked his tobacco and each accepted a small present and 
agreed with him to overlook for once, his infraction of the rules. 
His cap and gun were restored, and as they say in diplomacy, the 
incident ended. But he fiunigatead that cap before wearing it 

The hunt was successful. Over 2,000 deer, fifty elk, as many 


bears, five panthers and a few buffalo skins Avere ol)taine(l. Tlie 
fur company sold for $20 guns tliat cost $6 in St. Louis. They got 
pay not in money but in furs, at their own price. This is a speci- 
men of the profits of the fur trade. The Indians broke camp and 
returned to Mendota in March, before the spring thaw rendered 
the sloughs and streams impassable. 

From 1849 to 1852 the northern boundary of Iowa was sur- 
veyed, the Mower county portion of the line being surveyed by a 
party under Captain Andrew Talcott in 1852. 

The First, Second and Third Guide Meridians, the second being 
just east of Austin, were surveyed by the late Hon. Thomas Simp- 
son, of Winona, in 1853. 

The First Standard Parallel, which forms the northern bound- 
ary of Udolpho, Waltham and Sargeant, was surveyed in 1853 
by E. S. Morris. 

The boundaries of townships 101, 102, 103 and 104 in rajige 14, 
were siirveyed in 1853 by John Ball, and subdivided into sections 
the same year by John Tylor. 

The boundaries of townships 101, 102, 103 and 104 in range 15, 
were surveyed in 1853 by John Ball, and subdivided into sections 
the same year by John Quigley. 

The boundaries of townships 101, 102, 103 and 104 in range 16, 
were surveyed in 1853 by John Ball. Andrew Talcott subdivided 
township 101, range 16, in 1854; John Quigley, townships 102 and 
103, range 16, in 1853 ; and John Fitzpatrick, township 104, range 
16, in 1853. 

The boundaries of townships 101, 102, 103 and 104, in range 17, 
were surveyed in 1853 and subdivided the same year. In town- 
ship 101, range 17, John Ball and Andrew Talcott surveyed the 
boundaries and C. Phipps and E. Fitzpatrock surveyed the sec 
tion lines. In townships 102 and 103, range 17, the boundaries 
were surveyed by John Bell and E. S. Morris, and the section 
lines by AVilliam J. Anderson. In township 104, range 17, E. S. 
Morris surveyed the township boundaries and John Fitzpatrick 
surveyed the section lines. 

The boundaries of townships 101, 102, 103 and 104, in range 18, 
were surveyed in 1854 and the section lines drawn the same year. 
In township 101, range 18, the boundaries were surveyed by J. B. 
Reymond and E. S. Morris and the section lines by AYilliam A. 
Anderson and Andrew Talcott. In township 102, range 18, the 
boundary lines were siu'veyed by J. B. Reyman and E. S. ]\Iorris, 
and the section lines by AVilliam A. Anderson. In townships 103 
and 104, range 18, the boundary and sections lines were surveyed 
as in township 102, range 18, l)y the same persons. 

In 1872, while digging a well on Bridge street, L. G. Basford 
discovered at a deptli of twelve feet, two spherical shells of iion. 


eio]!t inches in circumference, containing coarse white sand and 
Avhat was believed to be evidences of black powder. No authori- 
tative theory has ever been advanced to account for the presence 
of these relies. 


Colony of the Borderline Between Racine Township and Fillmore 
Colony — Arrivals in Le Roy Township — Early Settlement in 
Lyle and Lansing — Settlers of 1854 — Influx of Population 

The first settlement within the present limits of ]\Iower county, 
of which tiiere is any record, was probably made July 4, 1852, in 
what is now Racine township, section 1, township 103, range 14. 
by Jacob McQuillan, Sr., and his party, which consisted of nine 
eldldren — of whom Jacob, Jr., brought his wife and family — and 
a son-in-law, Adam Zadyger. At that time no survey had been 
made, and as a matter of fact the land was not open to settle- 
ment, for although the Indian treaty of Mendota, which ceded the 
land to the whites, had at that time been signed by the Indians, 
and approved with amendments by the senate, the amendments 
had not been accepted by the Indians, nor the official proclama- 
tion issued by the president. Upon their arrival, the party camped 
by what is now known as the Hamilton spring. Before unhitch- 
ing his team, ]\Ir. McQuillan nailed a coffee mill to a tree, as a 
visible sign of his claim to a homestead. For a time the family 
lived in the wagons, later they took up their abode in a rude cabin 
of rough poplar logs. Near the place of the settlement were two 
springs, some ten rods apart. Jacob McQuillan, Sr., took the Avest 
spring, and the land west of it, while his son, Jacob, Jr., took tlie 
land east of this line, thus including in his property the most 
eastern of the two springs. The county line now runs a few rods 
to the eastward of the line between the claims of the McQiiillans, 
Senior and Junior. 

In 1854 a man named Booth pre-empted the quarter sectioii 
that young IMcQuillan had claimed, the claim being located in 
what is now Fillmore county. This created trouble, and a force 
of the McQuillans" friends congregated, well armed, to put the 
intruder out of the way. Booth's friends gathered to meet the 
opposition, and a party of them spent the night in readiness for 
the fray. Tlie ^IcQuillfui party sent out an advance guard, which 


was met by a few of Booth's friends, near tlie present site o\' 
Hamilton. When the McQuillan party discovered tliat Booth ;iiu' 
his friends were prepared to meet them and defend his claim, they 
soon dispersed. The place was in litigation for some time, nnd 
resulted not only in a victory for Booth, but also in the financial 
ruin of the McQuillans. This land, as has already been stated, 
was just over the line in Fillmore county, and included the site 
of the village of Hamilton. 

Jacob McQuillan, Sr., occupied his claim in ]\Iower county 
several months and then moved to Fillmore county, renting his 
claim to Thomas W. Corey. About a year later he sold his Mower 
county property. He improved a claim in Fillmore county, and 
there lived until after the war. At the age of seventy-three he 
returned to Ohio, and there died shortly afterward. He was a 
powerful man with an iron constitution; very kind and hospit- 
able, and well liked generally, though he was uneducated, and 
possessed of the roughness and gruffness of the typical fore- 
runners of pioneer settlement. 

Thomas W. Corey, already mentioned, made the second set- 
tlement in Racine township in the spring of 1853. He was a native 
of Massachusetts, and came from Illinois, overland, by way of 
Davenport and Decorah. He settled on the McQuillan claim and 
erected a log cabin, 18 by 22, in which he often entertained trav- 
elers, the cabin being on the then traveled route between Decorah 
and Mantorville. The charge was usually forty cents for two 
meals and lodging. Their postofflce and trading point was 
Decorah, Iowa. 

After a time Mr. Corey moved across the line into Fillmore 
covinty and erected the first hotel in Hamilton. In 1880 he 
removed to Tennessee and died there two years later. 

The second point of settlement in Mower county was also 
near the border line. In 1852 Isaac Van Houghton, who assisted 
in surveying the boundary line between the state of Iowa and the 
then territory of Minnesota, was much pleased with the vicinity 
of what is now Le Roy township. A year later he induced several 
of his fellow citizens of Lansing, Iowa, to join him in a colonizing 
venture. Consequently, some time during the summer of 1853, 
Isaac Van Houghton, George Squires, J. S. Priest, ]\Ioses Niles 
and Isaac Armstrong came to the extreme soutlieastern part of 
Le Roy township. Van Houghton claimed the southeast quarter 
of section 36 and Squires the northeast quarter of flu-! same sec- 
tion. Tliis, however, was before the survey, and wlicii the lines 
were laid it was found that their claims were on scliool lands and 
not subject to homestead entry. Armstrong clainuHl the west half 
of section 33, while Priest and Niles claimed the southeast half 
of section 35. These ehiims ;ire located ni)pr()xiinately, for, as 


before stated, no section lines were drawn until later in the year. 
All five of these claimants sold out within a short time. 

The western part of the county received four settlers in 1853. 
"Hunter" (H. O. or 0. P.) Clark, who settled in Lansing town- 
ship ; one Woodbury and his son-in-law, Pinkerton, who settled in 
Lyle township, and Austin Nichols, who settled on the present site 
of Austin. 

Clark took a claim and settled in the northwest quarter of 
section 3-1, in Lansing township. He built a log cabin a short dis- 
tance northeast of where Oakwood cemetery is now located. May 
8, 1855, he sold his claim to "William Baudler and moved west. 
The last seen of him was in Idaho. 

One Woodbury, accompanied by a son-in-law, Pinkerton, came 
to Lyle township in the fall of 1853 and claimed a large tract of 
land bordering on the Red Cedar and on the creek that bears his 
name. He erected a log cabin on the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 33. AVoodbury sold his claim in June, 1855, and moved to 
Olmsted county. 

Austin Nichols hunted along the Cedar in 1852, and in 1853 
reached the present site of Austin. In his reminiscences he does 
not state whether he spent the winter of 1853-54 here. At any 
rate, he drove his first claim stake June 8, 1854. 

In 1855 the real influx of settlers began, and from then until 
1860 the pioneers came in rapidly. A full account of the settle- 
ment of the various localities in the county is found in the sepa- 
rate township histories in this volume. 



Mower County Included in Wabasha and Rice Counties— Mower 
County Created — Organized by Governor Gorman — Commis- 
sioners Meet at Frankford — Old Election Precincts — Town- 
ship Boundaries. 

Mower county was included in the original limits of AValiasha 
county (then spelled Wabashaw), which was one of the nine 
counties created by the first territorial legislature. 

Governor Alexander Ramsey, the first territorial governor, 
arrived in St. Paul, May 27, 1849, and on June 1, 1849, issued his 
first proclamation. June 11 he issued a second proclamation, 
dividing the territory into three judicial districts. Mower county, 
then unpopulated, was included in the third judicial district, with 
Judge David Cooper on the bench. Court for this district was 
to be held at Mendota. 

July 7, 1849, the governor issued a proclamation dividing the 
territory into seven council districts and ordering an election. 
Mower county was included in the seventh district. 

The first session of the legislative assembly of the territory of 
IMinnesota was held at St. Paul, commencing September 3, 1849. 

By an act approved October 27, 1849, the territory was divided 
into the counties of Washington, Ramsey, Benton, Itasca, Waba- 
shaw, Dakota, Wahnahta, Mahkahto and Pembina. Only the 
covinties of Washington, Ramsey and Benton were fully organ- 
ized for all county purposes. The others were organized only for 
the purpose of appointment of justices of the peace, constables, 
and such other judicial and ministerial offices as might be spe- 
cially provided for. They were entitled to "any number of jus- 
tices of the peace and constal)les, not exceeding six in numl)er, 
to be appointed by the governor, and their term of office was 
made two years, unless sooner removed by the governor,"' and 
they were made conservators of the peace. 

Wabashaw county, as "erected'' by tbe act of October 27, 
1849, comprised practically all of the southern part of the ])n'S(Mit 
state of Minnesota. Its northern boundary was the parallel I'liii- 
ning through the mouth of the St. Croix and the moutli of (ln' 
Yellow Medicine rivers; its southern boundary was the Iowa line: 
its eastern the ^Mississippi, and its westci-ii the Missouri, mikI it 
also included the big peninsula l)etweeii the .Missouri jiikI the Hiir 
Sioux rivci's, ami all of wlint i.s ;it prcsciil southeast cni South 


Dakota. Of this A'ast county the present ]\Iower eovuity was a 

Chapter 1, Bevised Statutes of Minnesota of 1851, divides the 
territory in Benton, Dakota, Itasca, Cass, Pembina, Ramsey, 
AVashington, Chisago and Wabashaw counties and defines their 
l)oundaries. Under the revised statutes, all the territory west of 
the Mississippi river and east of a line running from jMedicine 
Bottle's village at Pine Bend, due south to the Iowa line, was 
erected into a separate county to be known as Wabashaw. This 
included in Wabashaw county a portion of what is now Dakota 
county as well as all the present counties of Goodhue, AVabasha, 
Dodge, Olmsted, Winona, Mower, Fillmore and Houston. The line 
south from Pine Bend in the Mississippi strikes practically the 
western boundary of Mower county, the exact line being impossi- 
ble of verification as the Medicine Bottle tepee were differently 
located at various times, always, however, being within a few 
rods of the bend in the river. 

Rice county was created by act of the territorial legislature, 
March 5, 1853. Section 7, Chapter 15, General Laws of Minne- 
sota, 1853, gives the boundaries as follows: Beginning at the 
southwest corner of Dakota county, thence west along said county 
line to Lake Sakatah, thence south to the Iowa state line, thence 
east along said state line to the southwest corner of Fillmore 
coiiuty, thence along the west lines of Fillmore, Wabasha and 
Goodhue counties to the place of beginning. 

It will thus be seen that the starting point of Rice county, 
as tlien constituted, was at the "southwest corner of Dakato 
county." The west and south lines of Dakota county are 
described in the act as follows: "Beginning in the Minnesota at 
the mouth of the Credit river, thence on a direct line to the upper 
l)ranch of the Cannon river, thence down said river to its loAvest 
fork." The upper branch of the Cannon river is the Straight 
river, and consequently this boundary line of Rice county started 
at the confluence of these rivers, at the present site of Faribault, 
ran southwestward to Lake Sakatah ; and thence south, crossing 
Waseca and Freeborn counties about on the range line between 
ranges twenty-two and twenty-three, to the Iowa line. Thence it 
ran along to the Iowa border to a little village called Granger in 
township 101, range eleven, Fillmore county. Thence it ran in a 
direct line, due northwest to the place of beginning. 

Rice county therefore took in only a part of tlie present Rice 
<'()uiity. 11 iiichidcd tlic I'dur castci-n townsliips in Waseca county, 
and all lint llic foui' wcsIcimi townsliips in Freeborn county. It 
;i]so look ill i)rac1ically all of Mower and Steele counties, about 
oiie-Hiii-d of Dodge, a \rvy small jioi'tioii of Fillmore and Good- 
line, and possibly a few sections in Olmsted eoniity. 

Ill Kebniarv, IS.')!, the government sin-\'ey having been made. 


the eastern boundary was altered somewhat and assumed definite 
lines, the line between what is now Fillmore, and that part of 
tlu^ then Rice county which is now Mower county, being the pres- 
ent boundary between ]\Iower and Fillmore counties. 

February 20, 1855, the counties of Mower, Brown, Carver, 
Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Olmsted, Renville, Steele, Stearns 
and AVright were created by the legislature, and some changes of 
name made in others. Mower county included townships, 101, 102, 
103 and 104, north; ranges 14, 15. 16, 17 and 18, west of the Fifth 
principal meridian. In May, 1857, sections 1 to 6, inclusive, in 
township 104, ranges 14 and 15, were cut off and added to Olm- 
sted county. Since then, no changes have been made in the 
boundary lines of the county. The county contains 453,120 acres, 
or 708 square miles. The congressional survey was made in 
1853-54, being completed in February, 1854, sufficiently for a 
definite description of the coimty boundaries by the legislature. 

March 1, 1856, Governor Gorman, agreeable to the act of the 
legislature, and upon representations made to him that Mower 
county was sufficiently populated to warrant its being duly fur- 
nished with county government, organized the county, and 
appointed a temporary board of county ocmmissioners, consisting 
of George "White, Philip Howell and William Russell. This boara 
was given full power and authority such as usually devolves upon 
such boards, with the additional duty of locating, temporarily, the 
county seat. 

These commissioners met April 7, 1856, iu the village of Frank- 
ford, and presumably located the county seat temporarily in 
that place. They appointed officers as follows: Register of deeds 
and clerk of the board of commissioners, Timothy M. Chapman ; 
treasurer, Lewis Patchin ; judge of probate, C. J. Felch ; surveyor, 
Moses Armstrong ; sheriff, G. AY. Sherman. These Avere the only 
ofKcers for which appointments were then made. 


Tile early county commissioners divided the county into elec- 
tion precincts, road districts and school districts. The old elec- 
tion precincts were the parents of the present townsliips and in 
many cases the original names still survive. 

Following is the summary of the precincts, created from the 
time of the meeting of the first elected board of county cominis- 
sioners, April 7, 1856, down to April 16, 1858, when the t()wnshi])s 
of the county were defined and given the authority to mainlaiii 
local government. 

Austin. Originally created as an eh'ction precinct Ai>rii 7. 
1S56, and contained at tliat liuie the present lowns of Tidlpho, 


Waltliam, Lansing, Red Rock, Austin, Windom. Tjyle and Nevada. 
July 7, 1856, the boundaries of the preeinct were curtailed, and 
made to contain the south halves of the present towns of Lansing 
and Red Rock, and all of Austin, "Windom, Lyle and Nevada. 
April ]6, 1856, it was still further curtailed, leaving only the south 
halves of Lansing and Red Rock, and all of Austin and AVindom. 
April 16, 1858, the township assumed its present boundaries, and 
was duly organized May 11, of that year. 

High Forest. Originally created as an election precinct, April 
7, 1856. It comprised the present towns of Racine, Pleasant Val- 
ley and Sargeant. 

Frankford. Originally created as an election precinct, April 7, 
1856, and contained at that time the present towns of Dexter, 
Grand Meadow, Frankford, Marshall, Clayton, Bennington, 
Adams, Lodi and Le Roy. Le Roy was cvit ofif July 7, 1856. April 
27, 1857, a piece was taken oft' at the north, and Adams, Lodi and 
Clayton were also cut off. April 6, 1858, the town was given its 
present name and boundary, but for purposes of local government 
all of the present Grand Meadow and the north halves of Clayton 
and Bennington were attached to it. It was on this date that 
Frankford lost the six sections that are included in its congres- 
sional township, but politically belong to Racine. The northern 
half of Bennington was cut off from Frankford in 1860, the north- 
ern half of Clayton in 1873 and Grand Meadow in 1863. 

Red Rock. Originally created as an election precinct, July 7, 
1856, out of what had previously been Austin. At the time of 
its creation it consisted of the present towns of Udolpho, Waltham 
and the north halves of Red Rock and Lansing. The southern 
part of what is now Red Rock township remained in Austin. 
April 27, 1857, the present town of Udolpho was cut off', under 
the name of Madison. By the act of the county commissioners, 
April 16, 1858, Red Rock assumed its present boundaries, but all 
of the present town of Dexter, and the southern part of Sargeant, 
was attached to Red Rock for purposes of township government. 
According to the records, Dexter was then known as Grand 
Meadow, and Sargeant as Beaubien. In 1866, Avhen Waltham 
was organized, it took in the western part of what is now Sar- 
geant, but whether the eastern part remained attached to Red 
Rock the records do not state. At any rate, Dexter Avas organ- 
ized in 1870 and Sargeant in 1873, thus leaving Red Rock witli 
its present boundaries and government. 

Le Roy w;is created as an election pr(M'inrt July 7, 1856, out 
of Frankford, with its present boundaries. April 27, 1857, the 
present towns of Lodi and Adams were added to it. but later in 
the same day Adams was <ulded to Six I\Iile Grove, and Clayton 
Avas added to Le Rov, tliiis livning Li' Kov coiisisling of the iii-cs- 


ent towns of Le Roy, Lodi and Clayton. April KJ, IS.IS, tlic Idwii 
assumed its present boundaries, but Lodi, and the southern lialvcs 
of Clayton and Bennington, were attached to it for government 
purposes. Clayton was then called Providence, and Bennington 
was then called Audover. Bennington was cut off in 1860, Clay- 
ton in 1873 and Lodi in 187-1, leaving Le Roy with its present 
boundaries and government. 

Six Mile Grove was created as an election precinct August 
16, 1856, out of what had previously been Austin. It consisted 
of the present towns of Lyle and Nevada. April 27, 1857, th^- 
present town of Adams, which up to that day had been included 
in Frankford, and which a few hours earlier in the day had been 
added to Le Roy, was added to Six Mile Grove, while the present 
toM^n of Lyle was cut off and created as Cedar City election pre- 
cinct. April 16, 1858, Adams and Nevada were each given their 
present names and boundaries, and Adams was annexed to Ne- 
vada for purposes of local government. Nevada was organized 
in 1858. Adams was cut off and organized 1859. 

Madison was created as an election precinct April 16, 1858, 
and consisted of the present town of Udolpho. It was created 
out of a part of Red Rock, which precinct had, in turn, been 
originally a part of the precinct of Austin. April 16, 1858, the 
name of Madison was changed to Udolpho, and that townslup 
assumed its present boundaries. "Waltham and the northern pi.'.rt 
of Beaubien, now Sargeant, were attached to Udolpho for pur- 
poses of local government. The present boundaries and goAern- 
ment have remained unchanged since 1866, when Waltham was 

Cedar City was created as an election precinct April 27, 1857, 
and comprised the present township of Lyle. Lyle was organized 
Avitli its present boundaries April 16, 1858. 

Hamilton was created as an election precinct April 27, 1857, 
and occupied an irregular piece taken from what was then the 
precincts of High Forest and Frankford, and consisting of por- 
tions of what are now the towns of Pleasant Valley, Racine, 
•jrrand Meadow and Frankford. The name Hamilton was given 
lo the present town of Racine April 16, 1858, but on .May 11 of 
Ihat year the people changed it to Racine. May 22, 1857, the tier 
of six sections to the north were cut oft' and added to Olmsted 
30unty, and on April 16, 1858, the six tiers to the s(nith were 
added to Hamilton, now Racine. 


On April 16, 1858, tlic state (•(nislilutiou havin<r Ix'cm adoplcd. 
tl e- (■>)^nt^ ('(iminissifjiicrs iiu't for tlic jJiirposc of dividing the 


cGunty into townshij's. On May 22, 1857, sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 
6, in township 10-i, ranges IJ and 15, had been cut off and added 
to Olmsted county. AA''ith l]i]s exception Mower county w.'is and 
is a parallelogram, thirty miles by twenty-four miles, compris- 
ing congressional townships 101, 102, 103 and 104, ranges 14, 15, 
in, 17 and 18. AVith the exception of the tier of six sections 
in tlie northern part of township 103, range 14, which was at- 
tached to the township north, the townships which were created 
to the number of tAventy followed the congressional division, as 
follows: Township 101, range 14, Le Roy; 15, Lodi; 16, Adams; 
17, Nevada; 18, Lyle. Township 102, range 14, Andover; 15, 
Providence; 16, York; 17, Brooklyn; 18, Austin. Township 103, 
range 14, Frankford; 15, Poplar Grove; 16, Grand Meadow; 17, 
Red Rock; 18, Lansing. Township 104, range 14, Hamilton, 
Weet; 15, Farmington; 16, Beaubien; 17, AA^altham : 18, Udolpho. 
It will thus be seen that the name Grand ]\Ieadow was given to 
Avhat is now Dexter, while the present Grand AleadoAV Avas then 
called Poplar Grove. Lansing, Austin and Lyle were ordered to 
liHA^e separate and distinct organizations for tOAv^nship purposes. 
The olliers Avere grouped in various Avays. 

Udolpho Avas organized at once. To it Avere added AValtham 
and the northern part of Beaubien, now Sargeant. AValtham. 
then consisting of the present town of AA^altham and the Avestern 
half of the present toAA-n of Sargeant, Avas cut off and organized 
in ]866. 

Waltham Avas organized in 1866 and consisted of the present 
toAvn of AValtham and the Avestern part of Avhat is noAV Sargeant. 
Sargeant Avas cut off and organized in 1874. 

Sargeant, Avhich Avas originally known as Beaubien and then 
as Stanton, after being attached in part successively to Udolpho, 
AValtham and Red Rock, Avas organized in 1873. 

Pleasant Valley, called liy the county commissioners Farm- 
ington, was ordered to ])e attaclied to Hamilton, uoav Racine, for 
government purposes, but tlie records shoAv tluxt it Avas duly 
s('[)arat(>ly organized Alay 11, 1858. 

Racine, called by the county commissioners Hamilton, or more 
formally Hamilton AVest, Avas ordered to liave Farmington, noAV 
Pleasant Valley, attaclunl to it, Init, as in the case of Pleasant 
A'^alley, the toAvn Avas organized separately and distinctly and 
Avith its present boundaries May 11, 1858. 

Lansing Avas organized as at present Alay 11, 1858. 

Red Rock Avas organized in 1858, and Grand AleadoAV, now 
Dcxlci', and th(> southern half of Beaul)ien, noAV Sargeant, Avere 
ad ached to it for townshii) i)uri)OHes. AVliat Avas then Grand 
Alrjidow Avas organized in 1870 and is now Dexter. AVImt Avas 
ilieii Heaubien Avas oi'gani/ed in 1873 and is now Sargeant. 


Dexter, originally called Grand ]\readow. and for some years 
attached to Red Rock, was organized in 1870. 

Grand Meadow, formerly called Poplar Grove, and originally 
attached to Frankford, was organized in 1862. 

F'rankford, from whose congressional township, the northern 
tier of sections is detached, was organized in 1858 and to it were 
attached Poplar Grove, now Grand Meadow, and the northern 
halves of Providence and Andover, now Clayton and Bennington. 
Grand Meadow, formerly Poplar Grove, was organized in 1862 ; 
Clayton, formerly Providence, in 1873, and Bennington, formerly 
Andover, in 1860. 

Austin was organized in 1858 as at present. 

Windom included the towns of Brooklyn and York and was or- 
ganized in 1858. Brooklyn became Canton, then "Windom. York 
was cut otf in 1870. 

Marshall, originally York and later Beach, was organized in 
1870, having previously been attached to what is now AVindom. 

Clayton, originally called Providence, the northern half of 
which was originally attached to Frankford and the southern 
half to Le Roy, was organized in 1873. 

Bennington, formerly called Andover, the northern part of 
which was originally annexed to Frankford and the southern 
half to Le Roy, was organized in 1860. 

Lyle was organized in 1858, as at present. 

Nevada, to which was originally attached Adams, was organ- 
ized in 1858. Adams was organized in 1859. 

Adams, originally a park attached to Nevada, was organized 
in 1859. 

Lodi, originally attached to Le Roy, was organized in Febru- 
ary, 1874. For a time the town was known as Belleview. 

Le Roy was organized in 1858, and to it were attached the 
southern halves of Providence and Andover, now Clayton and 
Bennington, and all of Lodi. Lodi was cut oft' in 1874 ; Clay! on 
m 1873 and Bennington in 1860. 




Doing's of the Consecutive Boards of County Commissioners — 
County Officials — Registers of Deeds — Treasurers — Auditors 
— Sheriffs— County Attorneys — Clerks of the District Court 
— Judges of Probate — Superintendents of Schools — County 
Buildings — Location of County Seat — County Court House — 
County Jail — County Poor Farm. 

Tiie first meeting of the board of county eonmissioners ap- 
pointed by Governor Gorman, was held in the village of Frank- 
ford, April 7, 1856, Frankford having been established as the 
temporary county seat. The county commissioners present were 
Phillip Howell and George White. The first business to come before 
the board was the appointment of the first county officers, which 
resulted in the selection of the following named: Timothy M. 
Chapman, register of deeds and clerk of the board of county 
commissioners ; C. J. Felch, judge of probate ; Lewis Patchin, 
county treasurer; M. K. Armstrong, county surveyor; G. AA^. Sher- 
man, sheriff and collector of taxes. 

The precincts created were named High Forest, Frankford 
and Austin. High Forest embraced ranges l-i, 15 and 16, of town- 
ship lOJr. Frankford comprised townships 101, 102 and 103, 
ranges 14, 15 and 16. Austin embraced townships 101, 102, 103 
and 104, ranges 17 and 18. In High Forest precinct Thomas Arm- 
strong was appointed justice of the peace ; Orson Lyon, consta- 
ble ; John Robinson, assessor, and J. S. Stimson, Nathan Lyon and 
Geo. I. Covin, judges of election. In the Frankford precinct 
David D. Frazier was appointed Justice of the Peace ; John Far- 
quer, constable ; George Hunt, assessor ; D. D. Frazier, G. AV. 
Sberman and Griffin Frazier, judges of election. In Austin pre- 
cinct, Silas Dutcher was appointed justice of the peace ; L. AA"a- 
tions, constable; Orlando AVilder, assessor; J. H. Burns, A. B. 
A'^aughan and V. P. Lewis, judges of election. 

Alay 30, 185(), the second meeting of the board of commission- 
ers was held. This meeting was attended by tlie full board — 
Philip llowcll. chairman; George AVliite and AVilliam Russell. It 
was found that certain officers appointed at the previous meeting 
had failed to ([luilify, and in consequence of this Sylvester Smith 
WHS appointed justice of the peace in the Austin precinct; AVash- 
ington Mason, assessor, and Charles Ferris, constable. July 7, 
1856, the commissioners again met, with Phillip Howell chairman, 
George AVhite and William Russell, present. At this time a peti- 


tion was presented from W. B. Spencer and others, asking that a 
new election precinct be created under the name of LeRoy, to 
comprise township 101, range 14. The petition was granted and 
the following officers were appointed for the new precinct : Sam- 
uel P. Bacon, justice of the peace ; William B. Spencer, constable, 
and Henry Edmunds, S. P. Bacon and AV. B. Spencer, judges of 
election. At the same session the precinct of Red Rock was cre- 
ated in response to a petition from John L. Johnson and other.'-. 
It then embraced the north half of township 103, and the whole of 
township 104, ranges 17 and 18. The following officers were ap- 
pointed: Moses Mapes, Andrew Brown and Charles F. Hardy, 
judges of election, and Charles F. Hardy, justice of the peace, 
and Hilliard Tilton, constable. Opposite this entry, regard- 
ing the creation of Red Rock, on the record, is written 
the word "error"; but as nothing is found in the record to 
contradict the entry, it is here presented. Several school districts 
were created at this time, and the first bills against Mower county 
M'ere allowed. The first bill was that of Lewis Patchin for $19 for 
services as road commissioner. From a report made to the board 
it is learned that in 1856 the taxable real and personal property 
in the county was as follows : Frankford district — personal jDrop- 
erty, $24,473 ; real property, $233,855. High Forest district— per- 
sonalty, $17,257 ; realty, $77,743. Austin precinct — personalty, 
$12,132 ; realty, $92,072. Total in county, $457,533. The amount 
of tax levied by the commissioners was $2,287.60. The amount of 
orders issued to defray the expenses of the county was $1,753. 

The first general election was held October 14, 1856, at which 
374 votes were cast, and the following officers elected: J. M. 
Berry, representative ; R. L. Kimball, register of deeds ; J. B. 
Yates, sheriff'; S. P. Bacon, treasurer; M. K. Armstrong, county 
surveyor ; A. B. Vaughan, judge of probate ; Dr. 0. Allen, coroner ; 
W. B. Spencer, George H. Bemis and H. C. Blodgett, commission- 

The first meeting of the new board was held on January 6, 
1857, at the village of Frankford, when George H. Bemis was 
chosen chairman. After organizing, the board adjourned until 
the following day, when they again met. At this session the 
county seat question came up, and a resolution was offered by H. 
B. Blodgett and adopted by the board, locating the county seat on 
section 3, in Austin village. In ]\Iarch, 1857, the county com- 
missioners engaged the office of A. S. Everest, in Austin, to lie 
used as an office for the register of deeds, and a. place of meeting 
ror the board. At the same meeting Ormanzo Allen was ap- 
pointed the first county attorney for ]\Iower county. In the mean- 
time additional election pi-ecincts had been created under the 
names of Six ]\Iile Grove, Brownsdale, ]\Iadison, Cedar Citv and 


Hamilton. July G. 1857, the fouuty seat question again occupied 
the attention of the board, and a resolution was passed locating 
the county seat in block 23, in Davidson's addition to Austin. 
The total valuation of real and personal property is stated as 
being $1,108,304. 

The board of county commissioners for 1858 consisted of 
George H. Bemis, W. B. Spencer and C. F. Hardy. Mr. Bemis was 
again elected chairman. On January 5, 1858, the resignation of 
M. K. Armstrong as county surveyor, was tendered the board. 
April 16, 1858, the commissioners organized twenty townships, 
but attached a number of them to neighboring ones for the pur- 
pose of township government. 


In 1858 there began in ^linnesota a system of county govern- 
ment still in vogue in AVisconsin and other states. Under this 
system, the county was governed by a board of supervisors, con- 
sisting of tlie chairman of the board of supervisors of each town- 

In all of the counties then organized in the state, this board of 
supervisors, or "Court," as it was commonly called, met in the 
summer of 1858, and it is supposed that such a meeting was held 
in Austin, but no record has been preserved. The same system 
was in operation in 1860, but these records are likewise lost in 
Mower county. The minutes of these two boards, that of the 
latter half year of 1858 and that of the year 1859, were doubtless 
kept in a separate book, and then mislaid. The present commis- 
sioner system came into being in 1860, and the county conunis- 
sioners of jMower county, three in number, met in January of 
that year. Should the old record of the year and a half Avheu 
IMower county was under the commission system ever lie l)i'ought 
to light,, it will be of untold historical value. 


In 1860 tlir lioani ronsistcd of Oi'inanzo Allen (chairman). C. 
F. Hardy and S. P. Bacon. In Sei)teinbcr. 1860, i). H. Johnson, 
Jr., resigned the of^fice of county auditor. Ormanzo Allen re- 
signed as chairman of the l)oard, and was ai)pointed auditor. S. 
P. Bacon was elected chairman of llic lioai-d. J. Stewart was 
elected commissioner to fill vacancy. 

On New Year's day, 1861, th(> hoard of coimly commissioners. 


for the ensuing year met and qualiticd. Tlic nicinlicrs wci'c Milo 
Frary, Samuel Looinis and J. Stewart. Tlic l)()ai'<l organized l)y 
the election of ]\Iilo Frary, chairman. 

On January 7, 1862, the commissioners convened for tlie sixth 
annual session. At this time the board consisted of G. T. Angell, 
R. C. Heath and 6. II. Bemis. The last named was elected chair- 
man. In February, 1862, the name of Brooklyn township was 
changed to Canton. At the same time a petition was presented 
from the legal voters ol! township 103, range 15, asking that the 
territory be organized as Grand Meadow township. The petition 
Avas granted. On August 13, 1862. a special meeting of the board 
Avas held, at which it was "resolved, that $50.00 be paid to each 
and every volunteer who should, before August 20, 1862, enlist in 
the sixth, seventh or eighth Minnesota Regiments and be credited 
to Mower county." Later tlie time was extended to October 1. 

1862. In September the following school examiners were ap- 
pointed by (he board: H. T. Parker, for the first commissioner 
district; Richard Hoppiu, for the second, and A. J. Harris, for the 

The seventh annual session of the board began on January 6, 

1863. The board was composed of R. C. Heath, G. T. Angell and 
Alanson Beach, the latter being the newly elected member. Mr. 
Beach was elected chairman for the ensuing year. The second 
day of the session the board divided the county into military dis- 
tricts as follows: First, to be composed of the townships of 
Adams and Nevada; second, Lyle, Windom and Austin; third, 
Lansing; fourth. Red Rock and Udolpho; fifth. Pleasant Valley 
and Grand Meadow ; sixth, Racine ; seventh, Frankford and Ben- 
nington; eighth, LeRoy. Bennington township was ordered or- 
ganized at the same time. In September, 1863, the commission- 
ers appointed the following school examiners: J. B. Talhnan. C. 
F. Hardy and Saekett Sears. 

On January 5, 1864, the board convened for the eightl; annual 
session. Charles N. Stimson had been elected to succeed R. C. 
Heath, so the commissioners for the ensuing year were Alanson 
Beach, W. B. Spencer and C. N. Stimson. Alanson Beach was 
elected chairman for the ensuing year. J. B. Tallman was ap- 
pointed superintendent of common schools of Mower county, at 
an annual salary of $100; to hold his office one year from Septem- 
ber 1, 1864. On ]\Iay 2, 1864, the board of commissioners voted 
"to allow each volunteer soldier who had gone into the service of 
the United States and been accredited to ]\Iower county, the sum 
of $100; and for eacli veteran soldier who has gone or may go, 
$100 nu)re; provided that no bounty shall be issued to deserters; 
that the anu)unts already drawn as bounty he deducted from the 
$100; provided further, that no soldier who has been discharged 


from service shall receive a bounty, unless he has been permanent- 
ly disabled while in service." "Provided further, that where 
towns have, during the last year, paid a bounty of $100 to soldiers, 
the bounty from ^Mower county shall be paid to the towns instead 
of the soldiers ; or if the said towns have paid soldiers any fraction 
of the $100, then the town shall receive the fraction and the sol- 
diers the balance." 

January 8, 1865, the board convened pursuant to law for its 
ninth annual session. W. E. Harris had been elected commission- 
er to succeed W. B. Spencer, so that the board for the ensuing 
year was composed of Alanson Beach, C. N. Stimson and AV. E. 
Harris. No record is found of the election of a chairman. In 
September, 1865, Ormanzo Allen tendered his resignation as 
county auditor, which was accepted, and II. iM. Allen was ap- 
pointed to fill the vacancy. At about' the same time Charles N. 
Stimson, one of the commissioners, sent in his resignation, and the 
judge of probate, register of deeds and county auditor appointed 
C. F. Hardy, of Red Rock township, to fill the vacancy. J. B. 
Tallman was appointed county superintendent of schools, for one 
year, commencing January 1, 1866. His salary was fixed at .$;300 
per year. C. J. Short, the county attorney, was allowed an annual 
salary of $100. 

At the annual meeting which commenced January 2, 1866, 
there were present Alanson Beach, C. F. Hardy and AVilliam E. 
Harris. ]\Iessrs. Beach and Hardy were the newly elected mem- 
bers. Alanson Beach was chosen chairman for the ensuing year. 
The first business to come before the board was the offering of a 
reward for the apprehension of Patrick ]\IcEntee, who, December 
18, 1865, had murdered I. AV. Padden. A reward of $400 was 
offered. At this session the board voted to allow A. B. Alorse. 
rharles E. AVhite and Thomas Talbot the sum of $50 each as sol- 
diers' bounty, their names not appearing upon the adjutant gen- 
eral's list of credits. At the same time township 104, range 17, 
and the west half of township 104, range 16, was set off as A\'al- 
tham township, and civil organization was authorized. On Sept- 
ember 5, 1866, Sherman Page, of Austin, was appointed Superin- 
tendent of schools. His salary was fixed at $400 per annum. 

Oil January 11, 1867, the l)oard of county commissioners (net 
in Miiiiual session pursuant to law, at the auditor's office in Austin. 
K. .1. Slimsoii, the commissioiicr-cl('<-t succeeding 0. F. Hardy, 
(|u:ililit(l, aiKJ look his seat. Tiu' lioard for the year consisted of 
Alan.son lieacli, AVilliam E. Harris and E. J. Stimson. Alanson 
Beach was elected chairman for the ensuing year. In Septemlier. 
Slicrman Page was re-appointed superintendent of scIukJs. His 
sahiry was fixed at the same amount as in tlie preceding year. 

January 7, 1868, the l)oard nu>t for their twelftii amiual ses- 


sion. At this time the members were Alanson Beaeli, E. J. Stim- 
son and Joseph McKnight. The last named was the member-elect 
succeeding William E. Harris. Mr. Stimson was elected chairman, 
but in April resigned and A. Beach was elected. At this session 
the board divided the county into five commissioner districts in 
place of the former three, it being found that there were a suffi- 
cient number of votes to entitle a representation on the county 
board of two additional members. The districts as then set oft' 
comprised territory as follows: District No. 1, embraced Udol- 
pho, Red Rock, Waltham and Pleasant Valley townships, E. J. 
Stimson. District No. 2, embraced Racine, Frankford and Grand 
Meadow townships, D. P. Putney. District No. 3, was composed 
of Adams, LeRoy and Bennington townships, J. H. ]\IcKnight. 
District No. 4, embraced Lyle, Nevada and Windom townships, 
Alanson Beach. District No. 5, embraced Austin and Lansing 
townships, George AV. Bishop. At the same session the board 
directed the sheriff to offer a reward of $500 each for the appre- 
hension of Oliver Potter and AVilliam Kemp, two of the supposed 
murderers of Chauncey Knapp. At the March session, 1868, D. 
P. Putney and George AY. Bishop, members-elect from the ncAvly 
created districts, appeared and qualified. At the same meeting a 
committee, consisting of J. McKnight and G. W. Bishop, was ap- 
pointed to examine farms that had been offered the county as a 
poor farm. This matter culminated on ]March 14, Avhen it was 
A^oted to accept Mr. Caswell's proposition to sell his farm in Le- 
Roy township to the county for a poor farm, and also to buy 
eighty acres of W. Hayes, adjoining the Caswell farm, at $23 per 
acre. On April 9, it was resolved "that the register of deeds be 
instructed to take the necessary steps to transfer all records of 
deeds and mortgages (not satisfied) now recorded in Houston 
county, Minnesota, on lands lying in Slower county, to the records 
of this county." At this meeting bids were received for the erec- 
tion of a new county building, and that of D. J. Tubbs being the 
lowest, the contract was awarded to him in the sum of $6,450. A 
building committee was appointed, consisting of ^lessrs. Beach. 
Stimson and Bishop. The building was to be completed September 
5, 1868. On September 11, the commissioners passed a resolution, 
declaring tliat they had the greatest confidence in the integrity 
and efficiency of the county officials. In October, Sheldon T. ()tis 
was appointed county superintendent of scliools for the ensuing 

On January 5, 1861), the l)()ar(l iiu't in annnal session. Alanson 
Beacli, I). 1'. Putney and George W. Bishop, commissioners-elect, 
qualified. Tlie members holding over were Josepli McKnight an<l 
K. J. Stimson. Alanson Beach was cho.sen chairman for the ensil- 
ing yeai'. On ]March 13, 18()!), Sylvester Smitli resigned tlu^ office 


of county treasurer, and Solomon Snow, the treasurer-elect, was 
appointed to fill the unexpired term. 

On January 4, 1870, the Board convened for their annual ses- 
sion, with Alauson Beach, G. W. Bishop, D. P. Putney and J. Mc- 
Knight, members holding over, present. John P. AVilliams, the 
member-elect from the first district, qualified and took his seat 
Avith the board. Alanson Beach was unanimously chosen chair- 
man for the ensuing year. In May, 1870, the township of Dexter 
was created and ordered organized. It embraced Congressional 
tOAvnship 103, range 1(J. At the same time township 102, range 16, 
was set off and "ordered organized as Beach township. In Decem- 
ber, 1870, II. E. Turner presented his credentials as member-elect 
of the board, and qualified. He succeeded ^Ir. AYilliams. 

On January S, 1871, the board met in annual session, pursuant 
to law. At this time the following named gentlemen were mem- 
bers : Alanson Beach, H. E. Tanner, C. J. Felch, G. AV. Bishop and 
E. F. IMcKee. Alanson Beach was chosen chairman for the ensuing 
year. In February, G. AY. Bishop resigned, and was succeeded by 
^Y. AI. Howe. On June 26, 1871, a special meeting of the board 
was held at which it was decided to bring legal action against 
Sylvester Smith, former treasurer of the county, for alleged irreg- 
ularities in connection Avith the county finances. This was a mat- 
ter which for a ninnber of years agitated the county. In justice 
to .Mr. Smith, it should be stated in this connection that his honor 
and integrity came out unscathed from the long and bitter litiga- 
tion which followed. In September, L. Bourgard presented his 
resignation as county attorney, and E. O. AVheeler was appointed 
to fill the vacancy. 

On January 2, 1872, the board met in annual session. A. C. 
Bisbee, commissioner-elect from the fourth district, qualified. The 
board for tiie ensuing year was composed of C. J. Felch, AV. M. 
Hov.-e, II. E. Tanner, E. F. McKee and A. C. Bisbee. Organization 
Avas effected by the election of C. J. Felch, chairman. 

The annual meeting for 187."} commenced on January 7.^ 11. E. 
Tanner had been re-elected from the first district, so the board re- 
mained as before, the members being C. J. Felch, AV. M. Howe, A. 
C. Bisbee, E. F. iMcKee and II. E. Tanner. C. J. Felch was elected 
chairman for the ensuing year. 

On September 3, 1873, township 104, range l(i, t'oi'nici'Iy known 
as Beaubien, was set off and ordered organized as tlie civil town- 
sliip Stanton. Clayton township was created at tlie same time, 
comprising lownsliip 102, range 15, fornu'rly known as Provi- 

On January 6, 1S74, llir hoard met again in annual session. C. 
J. F(4cli liad 1 n rc-rlrrfd. Tlic iii.'nilins liolding over were AV. 


M. Howe, H. E. Tanner, A. C. Bisbee and James Grant. C. J. 
Felch was elected chairman for the ensuing year. On ]\Iareh 19, 
1874', E. F. Morgan, of LeRoy township, was appointed superinten- 
dent of schools for the ensuing year. In July, Lafayette French was 
appointed county attorney to fill a vacancy. At the same meet- 
ing in response to a circular from the governor, the board appro- 
priated $500 from the county funds, for the relief of grasshopper 

On January 5, 1875, the board of commissioners met in annual 
session, with the following as its members: C. J. Felch, II. E. 
Tanner, James Grant, \Yilliam Richards and R. J. French. C, J. 
Felch was elected chairman for the ensuing year. 

The board of county commissioners for 1876 was composed of 
C. J. Felch, \Yilliam Richards, James Grant, A. J. French and F. 
W. Kimball. AYilliam Richards was elected chairman of the 
board at the annual meeting January 4, 1876. On June 14, 1876, 
the following resolution was adopted by the board of county 
commissioners : Resolved, That the sum of $100 or so much there- 
of as may be necessary be set apart for the purpose of collecting 
and preparing a statistical history of IMower county, in accord- 
ance with the proclamation of the president. Messrs. Richards 
and French were appointed a committee to carry out the inten- 
tion of the board. 

The annual session for 1877 began on January 2. At tliis 
time the members were "William Ricliards, A. J. French, F. W. 
Kimball, G. W. Allen and W. B. Spencer. AYilliam Richards was 
elected chairman for the ensuing year. During the summer 1877, 
O. C. La Bar succeeded Commissioner Kimball. 

For the year 1878, the board consisted of AYilliam Richards, 
G. W. Allen, W. B. Spencer, 0. C. La Bar and M. M. Trowbridge. 
"William Richards was elected chairman on January 1, 1878, for 
the ensuing year. 

The annual session of 1879 began January 7. wluni the board 
organized, by the election of "William Richards, chairman. Tlie 
board was composed of AYilliam Richards, O. C. La Bar, G. W. 
Allen, "W. B. Spencer and ^M. ^I. Trowbridge. P. T. :\lclntyre, in 
August, 1879, was appointed county treasurer to .succeed I. Ing- 
mundson, deceased. 

On January 6, 1880, the board met in regular session, with the 
following named as members: "William Richards, M. ]\I. Trow- 
bridge, 0. C. La Bar, O. AV. Case and AV. B. Mitson. Mr. Rich- 
ards was chosen chairman. 'Slv. Case died in ^lay, 1880, and 
Charles L. Schro^ler, of Racine, was appointed to fill the vacancy. 

On January 4, 1881, the board met and organized for tlie ensu- 
ing year, by electing O. C. La Bar, chairman for the ensuing 


year. The members of the l)oard of commissioners at this time 
were : O. C. La Bar, AY. B. Mitson, R. A. Donaldson, O. Avers 
and Hans C. Anderson. 

The board for 1882 was composed of AY. B. Mitson, II. C. 
Anderson, Oscar Ayers, J. B. Graves and R. A. Donaldson. AV. B. 
INIitson was elected chairman for the ensuing year. 

At the annual session which began January 2, 1883, the fol- 
. lowing were the members : Oscar Ayers, H. C. Anderson, J. B. 
Gravfs, C. L. Schntder and John Gilligan. Oscar Ayers was 
chosen chairman for the ensuing year. 

On New Year's day, 1884, the board convened for tlieir annual 
session. Oscar Avers was elected chairman for the ensuing year. 
Tlie iiienibers were: Oscar Ayers, H. C. Anderson, J. B. Graves, 
C. L. Schra^der and John Gilligan. 

In January, 1885, the l)oard consisting of H. C. Anderson, J. B. 
Graves, C. L. Sehnrder, John Gilligan and Oscar Ayres, met and 
named the latter as chairman. 

Since 1885, the commissioners have been elected as follows: 
1886— P. Christ gau, C. H. Lockwood, AY. AY. Sweet, John Beach, 
E. C. Dorr. 1888— AY. T. Johnson, C. H. Lockwood, AY. AY. Sweet, 
John Beach, A. E. Christie. 1890— N. T. Johnson, AYilliam 
Brown, W. AY. Sweet, John Beach, A. E. Christie. 1892— INI. 
Stephenson, AYilliam Brown, AY. AY. Sweet, John Beach, J. AY. C. 
Dinsmoor. 1894 — AI. Stephenson, AYilliam Brown, AY. AY. Sweet, 
K. Amundson, J. AY. C. Dinsmoor. 1896 — AI. Stephenson, AYilliam 
Brown, Frank E. Hambrecht, K. Amundson, J. AY. C. Dinsmoor. 
1898 — M. Stephenson, AYilliam Brown, Frank E. Hambrecht, K. 
Amundson, J. AY. C. Dinsmoor. 1900 — AI. Stephenson, AYilliam 
Brown, Frank E. Hambrecht, K. Amundson, Joseph Keenan. 1902 
— AI. St(^phenson, AV. P. Lewis, Frank E. Hamlirecbt, P. O'AIalley. 
Joseph Keenan. 1904- D. L. Tanner, AV. P. Lewis, Frank E. ILim- 
l)reciit, John R. Johnson, AVilliam Ciiristie. 1906 — D. L. Tanner. 
AV. H. Goodsell, Frank E. Hambrecht, John R. Johnson, William 
Christie. 1908— Cliarles L. Schwartz, AV. II. (Joodsell, Frank E. 
Hambrcclil, Jolui H. Johnson, AYilliam Christie. 1910— Charles 
L. Schwartz, W. II. Goodsell, Frank E. IIainl)recht, John R. John- 
son. William Christie. 

The (Miuiily commissioners" districts are at present divided as 
Follows: 1, Dexter, Sargeant, AYaltham, Udolpho and Red Rock; 
2, Frankford, Hacine, Pleasant Valley and (irand .Meadow; .'?, Le- 
Roy, Bennington, Lodi and Adams; 4, .Marshall, Wiiidnm. Nevada 
and Lvle; T), Austin and iiansing. 



Following is a list of the elective ofticei's ol' .Mower coiiuty, 
since its organization in 1856 : 

Auditor — The office of county auditor was cr-ciilcii to take ct- 
fect in 1859. The business now performed liy liiiii. Iiad liccii |)ci-- 
formed prior to that date by the register of deeds and clerk. 
The auditors have been as follows: D. B. Johnson, Jr., 1859-18fiO; 
Ormanzo Allen, 1860-1865; H. M. Allen, 1865-1871, Henry M. 
Shook, to fill vacancy; J. P. Williams, 1871-1875; P. T. McTntyre, 
1875-1879; J. M. AVyckoff, 1878-1880; II. AV. Elms, 1880-1887; C. 
H. Wilbour. 1887-1893; R. L. Johnson, 1893-1903; George Robert- 
son, 1903-1913. The deputy at the present time is C. H. Wilbour. 

Treasurer — Lewis Patchin, 1856-1857 (appointed) ; S. P. 
Bacon, 1857-1858; A. S. Everest, 1858-1860; T. J. Lake, 1860-1862; 
Sylvester Smith, 1862-1869; Solomon Snow^ 1869-1870; J. S. 
Irgens, 1870-1874; I. Ingraundson, 1874-1879; P. T. Mclntyre, 
1879-1881 ; G. L. Case, 1881-1887 ; A. Requa, 1887-1893 ; G. Seebach, 
1893-1903; S. A. Smith, 1903-1913. 

Register of Deeds — Timothy M. Chapman, 1856-1857 (ap- 
pointed) ; R. L. Kimball, 1857-1858; David Blakely, 1859-1861; 
Solomon Snow, 1861-1869; R. L. Hathaway. 1869-1871 ; George AV. 
Robinson, 1871-1875 ; AVilliam IM. Howe, 1875-1882 ; ^I. I\I. Trow- 
bridge, 1882-1887; Eugene AVood, 1887-1913. 

Sheriff— G. AV. Sherman, 1856-1857; J. B. Yates, 1857-1859; 
George AV. Bishop, 1859-1861; E. D. Fenton, 1861-1865; AV. F. 
Gruramons, 1865-1867; D. J. Tubbs, 1867-1869; Allan iMollison, 
1869-1873 ; George Baird, 1873-1875 ; R. 0. Hall, 1875-1878 ; H. B. 
Corey, 1878-1885 ; Allan Mollison, 1885-1895 ; John C. Johnson. Jr., 
1895-1905; Nicholas Nicholsen, 1905-1913. 

Attorney — Ormanzo Allen, 1857-1859; D. B. Johnson, Jr., 1859- 
1860; C. J. Shortt, 1860-1864; H. R. Davidson, 1864; D. B. John- 
son, 1864-1865; C. J. Shortt. 1865-1867; E. O. AVheeler, 1867-1869; 
C. J. Shortt, 1869-1871; L. Bourgard, 1871-1874; Layfette French, 
1874-1878; C. C. Kinsman, 1878-1880; George F. Goodwin, 1880- 
1882; John M. Greeman. 1882-1887; L. F. (Mausen, 1887-1889; D. 
B. Johnson, Jr., 1889-1893; S. D. Catlierwood, 1893-1899; R. E. 
Shepherd, 1899-1903: A. AV. AVri-lit. 1903-1911; Otto Baii(!!er. 

Probate Judgt — C. J. F.'Ich. lS5(i-1857 (ai)p()inled ) ; A. B. 
Vaughn, 1857-1859; G. M. Camcn.n. 1859-1861 ; Robert Lylc, 1861- 
1866; Ormanzo Allen, 1866-1869; C. F. Hardy, 1869-1870; E. O. 
AVheeler, 1870-1871 ; Jesse Rose. 1871-1874: AV. H. Crandall, 1874- 
1875; S. Ilarter, 1875-1876; G. M. Cameron. 1876-1879; John O. 
Farmer. 1879-1S,S0: Onuau/.o .Mien, 1SS()-]SS7: \V. W. Raiinev. 

64 HISTOK'Y nv :\i()\vi:i; rorxTY 

1887-1891; S. S. Washl)urn, 1891-1903: John :\r. Greeimian. 1903- 
1911; Henry Weber, Jr., 1911-1913. 

County Surveyor— G. H. Allen, 1885-1893; M. N. Clausen. 
1893-1897; G. H. Allen, 1897-1901; M. N. Clausen, 1901-1903; V. 
A. Nason, 1903-1907: :\1. N. Clausen. 1907-1909; Y. A. Nason, 

Coroner— J. P. Squires, 1885-1889: A. W. Allen, 1889-1893; W. 
L. Ilollister, 1893-1905; AY. N. Kendriok, 1905-1907; Charles S. 
Lewi.s, 1907-1911; A. E. Henslin. 1911-1913. 

Clerk of the District Court — V. P. LeM'is (by appointment), 
1855-1858; J. E. AVillard, 1858-1861; L. A. Sherwood, 1861-1870: 
J. F. Atherton, 1870-1874; F. A. Elder. 187-1-1877; S. Sweningson, 
1877-1895; 0. J. Simmons, 1895-1907; George S. Burnham, 1907- 

Court Commissioners — Ormaiizo Allen, 1885-1887; AV. V. Ran- 
ney, 1887-1891 ; S. S. Washburn, 1891-1899; A. C. Page, 1899-1913. 

School Superintendent— J. B. Tollman, 1864-1867; Sherman 
Page, 1867-1869; 0. T. Otis, 1869-1870; A. S. Pike. 1870; J. T. 
Williams. 1870-1872; A. A. Harwood, 1872-1874; E. F. Morgan, 
1874-1875; N. M. Holbrook, 1875-1877; A. H. Tuttle, 1877-1881; C. 
D. Belden, 1881-1891; Gertrude C. Ellis. 1891-1901; Fannie G. 
Gies, 1901-1909; Grace B. Sherwood, 1909-1913. 


The location of the county seat was the first official question 
of importance that occupied the attention of the people of the 
ncAvly organized county. The first board of county commission- 
ers, Avho were appointed by Governor Gorman in 1856, were 
George White, Phillip Howell and William Kussell. On April 7, 
1856, these temporary commissioners nu^t in the village of Frank- 
ford and appointed the various county officers. It was also their 
business, iinder authority of the legislature, to locate a county 
seat and the record of such an act siiould have been made in the 
county commissioiici-s book of record ; l)ut no such record was 
tlicn iiia.ic. I)u1 some liiiic liitrr tlic rollowiiig record appeared on 
llic lly leaf of HooU ••.\'" of deeds and marked "iiage 1." Tiiis is 
Ihe (inly record of the location of the county seat of Frankford : 

'■ Accordiiijr to an ;ict of tlie Minnesota liCgisiature. approvi'd 
-Miircli 1, bsr.ti, (;eor-e Wliite. I'liillip [lowell, and William Kus- 
sell, were ai)poin1ed coniinissioners to locate the seat of Mmver 
county. Said commissioners met A])ril 7. 1856, and located the 
county seat of Mowei- county at the following place, to-wit: In 
the vilhi'.'e of KranUford. situate on the southwest (piarter. of the 
southeast (|uarter. and the southeast (piarter of the southwest 


quarter, of seetion 13, township 103, range 14, west of the fifth 
principal meridian. AVitness our hands this 7th day of April. 
1856. Phillip Howell, William Russell, George White, commis- 
sioners. Attest: Timothy N. Chapman, clerk of the board of 
county commissioners." 

Mower county at that time was entitled to one representative 
in the legislatiire, and his election took place in October, 1855, the 
first election held within the county. The polls at High Forest 
were located under an oak tree, a board with the ends placed on 
two barrel heads served as a judge 's desk. The east side nomin- 
ated W. B. Covell, a Democrat, and the west side A. B. Vaughan, 
a Republican. Ninety-seven votes were polled ; Vaughan received 
the majority, and received his certificate of election from the 
judges, and applied at the house for his seat. In the meantime 
Covell had made the retiu-ns of the election to the register of 
deeds, in Houston, and from him received his certificate of elec- 
tion, proceeded to the house, and Avas duly qualified as the first 
member of the legislature from ]Mower county. 

The first general election held in the county occurred October 
14, 1856. Two local tickets, without regard to politics, were put 
in nomination. On the west side, the People's ticket, with J. M. 
Berry, for representative ; R. L. Kimball, for register of deeds ; J. 
B. Yates, sheritf ; S. P. Bacon, treasurer ; N. P. Todd, surveyor ; W. 
B. Spencer, of LeRoy, G. H. Bemis and H. C. Blodgett, as commis- 
sioners ; A. B. Vaughan, judge of probate, and Dr. 0. Allen, for 

On the east side the Union ticket placed in the field, T. II. 
Armstrong, for representative ; W. B. Covell, register of deeds ; J. 
S. Pierson, sherift'; G. P. Covell, treasurer; M. K. Armstrong, sur- 
veyor; William Spencer, of LeRoy, C. F. Hardy and N. Goodsell, 
as county commissioners; C. J. Felch, as judge of probate, and J. 
Pierce, as coroner. 

The "People's ticket" was elected with a majority of 46 votes 
out of 374 polled, with the exception of Mr. Todd, who was de- 
feated by 74 votes. Heretofore the east side had had all except 
three minor offices, but in this election the west side gained the 

The first question of any importance wliich came l)cfore tlie 
newly elected county commissioners was that of estalilishing a 
permanent county seat. 

The people of the west side of the county argued that it would 
be easier to locate the county seat at Austin, than it wduld he to 
go to Frankford to transact the county l)usiness. 

When it was established at Frankford by the tii-st ( tcinijoi'ary) 
county commissioners, it was by them declai'cd tliat it could not 
be removed except by a vote of tiie peoj)!)' of the county. Twn of 


the newly elected commissioners, George H. Bemis and H. C. Blod- 
gett favored its removal, and took it upon themselves to remove it 
to Austin, having passed the following resolution at the meeting 
or January 7, 1857. "That, whereas, the act of the territorial leg- 
islature of ^Minnesota, of A. D. 1856, made it the duty of the com- 
missioners appointed under the provisions of said act to locate the 
county seat of the county of INIower, and, whereas, it does not ap- 
pear upon the records of the doings of said commissioners on the 
first Monday in January, A. D. 1857, that any such location was 
made, or any place provided for the transaction of the county 
husiness according to law ; therefore, resolved, that we do hereby 
locate the county seat of said ]\Iower county at the village of 
Austin, on section 3, in township 102, range 18 west, until otlier- 
wise provided by law. This entry is signed by George H. Bemis, 
chairman of the board, and Joseph Badger, deputy register. 

As the county had erected no building, the records and little 
tin box which contained them, constituted the county seat, and 
wherever these were there it was also. 

About noon Sheriff Yates and Vaughan, with the little tin box 
on which rested the future of both Frankford and Austin, in their 
sleigh started for Austin. That night they stopped at the Tatter- 
soll House, in High Forest. The landlord took the tin box and hid 
it away, with instructions to deliver to no one but Yates and 
Vaughan. In a short time Sheriff Sherman (Yates had not yet 
duly qualified) with a posse of men from Frankford. arrived and 
arrested Yates, Vaughan, Bemis and Tattersoll (who was the land- 
lord), for grand larceny. He then posted guards around the hotel 
and went to obtain a search warrant, as the landlord would ]iot 
give up the tin box containing the records. "While lie was gone, 
Yates made a bargain with W. Sykes, by which Sykes was to re- 
ceive $20, if he woiild ol)tain the box and deliver it to Yates, in 
case they succeeded in removing the county seat, if not he was to 
have $5.00 which was paid down. At a signal from Yates (he was 
to pass out of the door) tlie man was to take it out and hid'- it. 
The evening being quite cold, Yates soon induced the guards to 
come in and take a drink, and they became quite convivial, and 
supposed as long as they watched the persons imder arrest that 
their duty would be i)erformed, and that the box would be safe. 
Soon Yates passed out of the front door (the signal agreed upon) 
and down into the timl)er a sliort distance. Three of tlie guards, 
wlio saw him go out, foUowed him, but he eluded them by taking 
advantage of a short turn in the road, and jumped into the brusli, 
wliih' llic tlii'cc guards |)ass('il dii-cctly on. In the meantime Sykes 
li!id co-opci'alcd willi Yates in caiTving out the plans already laid, 
and was seen liy Y;itcs in liic act of hiding tlw liox. Yates th(Mi 
took Die l)ox and al'tci- Sykes had gone to the iiouse took the box 


some distance and hid it beneath the mantles of snow which then 
covered the earth to quite a depth, and covered it with rails; it 
remained there for three or four days. After hiding the box, 
Yates went about a half mile and stopped a few hours at the house 
of ?.rr. Pierce, and then returned to the hotel. He afterward deew 
a diagram of the grounds where the box had been hidden, and 
gave it to John Patterson and C. C. Hanehett, who dug it up from 
beneath the snow and conveyed it to Austin, where it was secreted 
in the hardware store of E. L. Kimball. The officers procured a 
search warrant, which only allowed them to search within the 
store proper, and not in the upper story, which was used by Mr. 
Kimball as a residence. While search was being made about the 
store room, it is said that some one carried the tin box under 
cover of a shawl to the cellar and there stowed it away within a 
pile of potatoes. Thus it will be seen the search was made in vain. 
George Bemis had the book containing the proceedings of the 
county commissioners under his coat the night they all remaiaed 
at Tattersoll's House, and the following morning he and Yates 
walked about eighty rods from the hotel and there deposited it 
under the snow, at the foot of an oak tree, disguising the marks 
they had necessarily made in the snow, by a certain method which 
their quick wit suggested. 

The book remained there a short time, and was then taken 
back to Frankford and carried by Mr. Bemis throughout the trial, 
closely guarded beneath his coat and vest. 

Armstrong, Morse, Willis and Belden appeared in the trial for 
the prosecution, and Jones Ripley and Gordon E. Cole for the de- 
fense. The citizens from the west part of the county having hefird 
of the arrests which had been made, proceeded at once to Frank- 
ford, to liberate the prisoners, all going well armed as it Avas 
feared by some that something serious might transpire. But all 
soon passed off without the shedding of blood, and with the ex- 
ception of a false alarm that caused no little consternation among 
about tifteen men, who Avere sleeping in Levi Patchin's old log 
tavern, the examination proceeded without further trouble. Yates 
and Bemis were each bound over for the sum of $3,000, to appear 
at the next term of the Pilmore county seat. 

Before the session of the court convened the matter had been 

In jMarch, 1857, the county board engaged the office of A. K. 
Everest, in Austin, to be used as the county seat headquarters. 
June 1, 1857, the people of the county voted on the county seat 
question, and decided in favor of Austin, consequently the county 
seat controversy, both among the people and in the courts was 
dropped. At this election, the people of the eastern part of the 
county voted not for Frankford, but for Brownsdale. But High 


Forest with its voters was cut off from IMower county just iu time 
to give Austin the balance of power. 

July 6, 1857, the board passed the following resolution : — 
"Pursuant to an act during the eighth session of the legislative 
assembly of the territory of Minnesota, convened on the 7th day 
of January, and adjourned on the 7th of March, 1857, granting 
the legal voters of the county of Mower, the privilege of perma- 
nently establishing the county seat of said county, by an election 
to be held for that purpose on June 1, 1857; and, whereas, it ap- 
pearing by a canvass of the votes cast at said election, that a ma- 
jority of the votes were cast for the location of the county seat on 
Davidson's addition to Austin. Resolved, That we, the commis- 
sioners of said county of Mower, at this our regular session, July 
6, 1857, in accordance with the wishes of a majority of the legal 
voters of said county, as expressed by the election, do hereby 
locate the county seat of Mower county on block 23, in David- 
son's addition to Austin, as said addition appears on record iu 
the office of the Register of Deeds of IMower county." 


In March, 1857, the country board of commissioners engaged 
the office of A. S. Everest, in Austin, to be used as county seat 
headquarters. The register of deeds offieed there and this was 
the place for holding the meetings of the board of commissioners. 
This and other small office rooms served for county seat buildings 
until the fall of 1868, when a court house was completed, through 
an act of the board of commissioners of April 9, 1868. At this 
meeting bids were received for the erection of a county building, 
and D. J. Tubbs being the lowest bidder, the contract was 
awarded to him in the sum of $6,450. A building committee was 
appointed, consisting of Messrs. Beech, Stimson and Bishop. Tlie 
building was to be completed by September 5, 1868. This was a 
two-story brick structure and was located on the corner of IMain 
and IMaple streets, opposite the present court house. This build- 
ing served the county well until 1881, when it was the will of the 
people that a new, larger and better court house be provided the 
rapidly progressing county. In accordance with this manifest 
wish, tlie board of county commissioners commenced laying plans 
to erect more spacious quarters. At a meeting of the board of 
corrunissioners, held ]\rarch 29, 1881, block 13, the old public 
square, owned l)y various parties, was piirchased for the total 
sum of $1,925. A building committee was tlicn api)ointed, wliich 
consisted of Oscar Ayers, O. C. L;iBar and AV. B. IMitson. l^ids 
were solicited for const i-uctiiig the l)as(Mn('iit of tlu' contemplated 
court house. 


m^;mj:-^. 1 !J?5t - ^-^^^ 

— -^-^^P-^Tp^ ■" 

^HWBHH^^^H ffi^2.!^rT^^^^^H 



^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^B^^^^^ 



D. J. Tubbs, whose bid of $9,200.00 was the lowest ofifered, 
was awarded the contract and completed the work in a very satis-' 
factory manner. H. J. Anderson was appointed as superintend(!nt 
of construction, and received for his services $30 per week. 

The building committee took much pains to become thorough- 
ly conversant with the various kinds of architecture, making trips 
to Milwaukee, St. Paul, Minneapolis and other points, to view 
and study into the plans of such building, and finally engaged the 
services of W. H. Dennis, of Minneapolis, as their architect and 
designer. June 14, 1882, the contract for erecting the super- 
structure was awarded to Snow & Allsip, of Chicago. Mr. Snow 
was the Solomon Snow whose name appears throughout this 
history, as one of the early residents of Mower county. The 
amount called for in this contract was $52,291. The work of con- 
struction went on, and the building was completed and first occii- 
pied in the month of March, 1884. 

About seven years before the completion of the new court 
house, the board of county commissioners began to stOAV away a 
fund for that purpose, by levying a light tax each year, thus the 
tax payers were not burdened by a heavy tax any one year, or 
compelled to pay interest on a large bonded indebtedness, as 
most counties have done, in this and other states. No small credit 
is due to the enterprise and public spirit of the city of Austin, 
who taxed herself to the amount of $6,000 as an aid toward erect- 
ing the court house. The total cost of the building, lots, and 
heating apparatus, Avas, in round numbers $67,900, divided about 
as follows: $51,500 for building; $1,925 for grounds; and $4,500 
for furniture and fixtures. After deducting the $6,000 paid by 
the city of Austin, the cost to the people of Mower county, was 
about $61,916. 

The new court house was fittingly dedicated by the formal 
opening of the first session of court within its walls. 

In the early part of 1879, an effort Avas made to have the 
county seat removed to Ramsey. The effort was made on the part 
of the people of Racine, Frankford, Pleasant Valley, Grand 
Meadow and other towns. A remonstrance was signed by 2,204 
legal voters of the county, this being more than two thirds of tlie 
total vote east at the previous general election. The removal bill 
failed to pass the legislature. 


Prior to 1868 the paupers of ]\Iower county W(>re cared for by 
some of the citizens, who were paid by the county. At that dite 
a farm was purchased by the county in LeRoy towusliip find 
fitted up for that purpose. April 16, 1868, the l)oard of couiify 


eommissiouers, purchased seventy-five acres of land on the north- 
west quarter of section 28. township 101, range 14, of Daniel Cas- 
well and wife, for the sum of $1,500; and also eighty acres of W. 
Hayes for $1,8J:0. This constituted the first poor farm in the 
county. Proper improvements were made and the poor were 
cared for at that place until 1876, when it was deemed best to 
exchange this property for the present poor farm, which is lo- 
cated on the northeast quarter of section 31, township 103, range 
18, which is in the township of Lansing, and is about three miles 
distant from the city of Austin. This place was bought (or 
traded for) of John S. Lacy and wife February 11, 1876. This 
farm is an excellent piece of land and now contains very good 
improvements, including all necessary buildings. 

County Jail. The county jail is a brick structure with stone 
trimmings. It is fireproof, steam heated and sanitary throughout. 
The sheritf's residence is a good brick building with stone trim- 
mings. It adjoins the jail and is located a few rods from the court- 
liouse on the east side of Chatham street. 



Mower County in Seventh and Fourth Council Districts— Fillmore 
and Mower County Made the Eighth Council District — First 
Representative From This County Takes His Seat — Consti- 
tutional Convention— Mower and Dodge Counties Become the 
Thirteenth Legislative District — Mower and Dodge County 
Become the Fifteenth District — Mower County Becomes the 
Fourth District — Changed to the Third District— Later to the 
Sixth District — Congressional Representation. 

On July 7, 18-1!), Governor Alexander Ramsey, l)y proclama- 
tion, divided the territory into council districts; Mower county, 
with ihc rest of southern ^linnesota (exclu.sive of the settlements 
on the banks of tlic ^Missi.ssippi"), coming witliin tlie limits of the 
Hcveiith district. 

184i) — The first territorial legislature met on Septeiulier 3, and 
adjourned November 1. The seventh district was represented in the 
council by Martin McLeod, of Lac qui Parle; and in the house by 
Alexis Biiilly, of .Meiidola. and Oideon II. Pond, of Oak Grove. 
Although Mower county was included in the seventh district, no 


settlers had at that time located within the present limits of the 

1851 — The second territorial legislature assenihled January 1 
and adjourned IMarch 31. The seventh district was represented 
in the council hy IMartin McLeod, of L/ae qui Parle ; and in the 
house by B. H. Randall, of Ft. Snelling, and Alexander Faribault, 
of Faribault. IVIower county was still without settlers. By the 
apportionment of this legislature, the territory having been di- 
vided into counties, the fourth district was made to constitute 
Wabasha and Washington counties, and the precincts of St. Paul 
and Little Canada jointly. It was understood that Wabasha 
county was to be one representative district. The present Mower 
county was then included in Wabasha county. 

1852 — The thii-d territorial legislature assembled January 7, 
and adjourned ]\Iarcli 6. The fourth district was represented in 
the council by Lorenzo A. Babcock, of Sauk Rapids; and in the 
house by Fordyce H. Richards, of Reed's Landing. 

1853 — The fourth territorial legislature assembled Januar}^ 5, 
and adjourned March 5. At this session the boundary lines of 
many of the counties were changed, and Mower county was in- 
cluded within the limits of Rice county. The boundaries of the 
legislative districts, however, remained the same, and the present 
j\Iower county remained in the district -which comprised the area 
included in Wabasha county by the act of 1851. At the session 
of 1853 the fourth district was represented in the council by 
Lorenzo A. Babcock; and in the house by James ("Bully") 
Wells, of a settlement at the head of Lake Pepin. 

1854 — The fifth territorial legislature assembled January 4 
and adjourned March 4. The fourth district was represented in 
the council by AVilliam Freeborn, of Red Wing; and in the house 
by 0. M. Lord, of what is now Dodge county. 

1855 — The sixth territorial legislature assembled January 3 
and adjourned ilareh 3. The fourth district was represented in 
the council by William Freeborn; and in the house by Clark AY. 
Thompson, of the present Houston coimty. At this session Mower 
county was created with practically her present boundaries, with 
the exception of the twelve sections that were annexed to Olm- 
sted coiinty. May 26, 1857. The creation act passed February 20, 
1855. At the same session, Houston, Fillmore and Mower county 
were constituted the eighth district. 

1856 — The seventh territorial legislature assembled Jamuiry 
2 and adjourned ilarch 1. In the meantime tlie Republican party 
had been organized, and a convention met at St. Paul, July 25, 
1855. Of sixteen delegates selected from Freeborn and ^Mower 
counties. l)ut one was present. Tlie Democratic convention as- 


sembled July 25, 1855. and was better represented from this 
county. A third party had also been organized by delegates se- 
ceding from the Democratic convention. Clark W. Thompson, 
of Houston county, and Benjamin F. Tillotson, of Fillmore county, 
represented the eighth district in the sixth territorial legislature. 
The representatiA'es in the house from this district were W. B. 
Gere, Samuel Hull. "William F. Dunbar, William B. Covell and 
Martin G. Thompson. "William B. Covell was a Democrat from 
the east end of Mower county. At the election of October 9, 1855, 
there had been two candidates for the legislature in this county, 
Covell, Democrat, from the east end, and Alanson B. "Vaughan, 
Republican, from the west end. Vaughan was elected by a good 
majority and obtained a certificate of election from the judges, 
but upon application to the house for admission, he found that 
Covell had made returns of election to the register of deeds in 
Houston, and thus equipped, had been dvily admitted to a seat in 
the house. Thus "Vaughan was the first elected representative 
from Mower county, and Covell the first to hold the seat. 

1857 — The eighth territorial legislature assembled Januarj^ 7 
and adjourned j\Iarch 7. Clark "W. Thompson and Benjamin F. 
Tillotson again represented the eighth district in the council. The 
representatives in the house were "William B. Gere, D. F. Chase, 
"W. J. Howell, John M. Berry and M. G. Thompson. Berry was 
from Mower county. An extra session of this legislature assem- 
bled April 27 and adjourned ]\Iay 23. It was this eighth terri- 
torial legislature that on May 26, 1857, set off twelve sections of 
]\rower county and added them to Houston county. 

Under the enabling act of congress, approved March 3, 1857, 
a constitutional convention of 108 members (each council dis- 
trict to elect two delegates for each councilman and representa- 
tive it was entitled to) was authorized to meet at the capitol on 
the second Monday in July, to frame a state constitution, and 
to submit it to the people of the territory. The election was held 
on the first Monday in June. July 13 the delegates met, but a 
disagreement arising in the organization, the Republican mem- 
])ers organized one body and the Democrats organized sepai-ately. 
Each of these bodies claiming to be the legal constitutional con- 
vention, proceeded with the work of forming an instrument to be 
.submitted to the people. After some days an understanding was 
effected between them, and by means of a committee of confer- 
ence the same constitution was framed and adopted l)y both 
bodies. On being sul)initfcd to the ]ieopl(\ ()ctol)er 13. it was 

In tlie Kcpiihlican wiiij;', the eighth district was represented by 
Alanson B. Vaughan, C. W. Thompson, John A. Anderson, 
Cli.irles A. Coe, N. P. Colburn, J. A. :\rcCann, II. A. Billings. 


Charles Hanson, H. W. Holley, John Cleghorn, A. H. Butler, 
Robert Lyle and Boyd Phelps. In the Democratic wing, the 
eighth district had but one representative, James C. Day. 

By the apportionment of 1857, set forth in the state consti- 
tution adopted October 13, Mower and Dodge counties were con- 
stituted the thirteenth district, with two representatives in the 
senate and three in the house. 

1857-58 — The first state legislature assembled December 2, 
1857. On March 25, 1858, it took a recess until June 2, and 
finally adjourned August 12. The thirteenth district was repre- 
sented in the senate by Edward W. Somers and Boyd Phelps. 
For some reason the records show only one member, George 0. 
Way, in the house from this district, though the district was en- 
titled to three representatives. 

1859-60 — The second state legislature assembled December 7, 
1859, and adjourned March 12, 1860. Henry C. Rogers and A. J. 
Edgerton represented the thirteenth district in the senate, and 
T. F. Hunt, Peter ^Mantor and B. F. Langworthy in the house. 
This legislature reapportioned the legislative districts, and Mower 
and Dodge counties became the fifteenth. 

1861 — The third state legislature assembled January 8 and 
adjourned March 8. The fifteenth district was represented in 
the senate by J. AY. Flake : and in the house by Peter Mantor and 
Thomas J. Hunt. 

1862 — The fourth state legislature assembled January 7 and 
adjourned ]\Iarch 7. The fifteenth district was represented in 
the senate by Joseph H. Clark, and in the house by S. Bostwick 
and H. C. Rogers. On account of the Indian outbreak, an extra 
session was called by the governor, and it assembled Septem- 
ber 9 and adjourned September 29. 

1863 — The fifth state legislature assembled January 6 and ad- 
journed March 6. The fifteenth district was represented in the 
senate by Joseph H. Clark, and in the hoiise by B. D. Sprague 
and S. P. Bacon. 

1864 — The sixth state legislature assembled January 5 and ad- 
journed March 4. D. B. Sprague represented the fifteenth district 
in the senate and Royal Crane andAugustus Barlow in the house. 

1865 — The seventh state legislature assembled January 3 and 
adjourned IMarch 3. The representatives from the fifteenth dis- 
trict were D. B. Sprague in the senate and Royal Crane and C. D. 
Tuthill in the house. 

1866 — The eighth state le"gislature assembled January 2 and 
adjourned March 2. The fifteenth district was represented in the 
senate by Samuel Lord, and in the house by C. J. Felch and D. B. 
Johnson, Jr., botli from Mower county. This legislature reappor- 


tioncd tlic tlistricts, hut Mower and Dod^e founties reinaiiu'd the 
tiftci'iitli district with one senator and two representatives. 

18fj7 — The ninth state legislature assemhled January 8 and 
adjourned Mareh 8. The tifteenth district was represented in the 
senate hy Samuel Lord, and in tlie liouse by C. J. Feleh and D. B. 
Johnson, Jr. 

1868 — The tenth legislature assembled January 7 and ad- 
journed ]\Iareh 6. The fifteenth district Avas represented in the 
senate by W. E. Harris, and in the liouse l)y D. A. Shaw and E. K. 

1869 — The eleventh legislature assembled January 5 and ad- 
journed ^lareh 5. W. E. Harris represented the fifteenth district 
in the senate, and T. J. Hunt and E. K. Proper in the house. 

1870 — The twelfth legislature assembled January 4 and ad- 
journed ]\Iarch 4. The fifteenth district w^as represented in the 
senate by Samuel Lord, and in the house by G. ^L Cameron and 
H. A. Brown. 

1871 — The thirfeenth legislature assembled January 8 and ad- 
journed March 3. The fifteenth disfrict was represented in the 
senate by Samuel Lord, and in the house by Harlan AV. Page, of 
Mower county, and AV. G. Telfer. This legislature reapportioned 
the state, and for the first time Alower county became a district 
by itself, being designated the foui-th district, with one senator 
and two representatives. Since that time Mower county has re- 
mained in a separate district. 

1872 — The fourteenth legislatiu-e assemhled January 2 and 
adjourned ]\Iarch 1. Sherman Page represented the fourth dis- 
trict in the senate, and John T. AVilliams and J. ]\L Wyckoff in the 

187;? — The fifteenth legislature assembled Januai-y 7 and ad- 
journed Marcii 7. Tlie representatives from the fourth district 
were N. K. Nobh- in the senate and O. O. Finhart and E. J. Stim- 
son in the house. 

1874 — The seventeentli h'gisjature asst 
adjourned .March 6. Mowei' (•dunty was I'e 
by E. H. Wells and in the liouse by (iundc 

187.") — The scvcuteentli legislature assembled Janiuiry .") and 
adjourned .Man-ii .'>. K. II. Wells represented Alow-er eounly in 
the senali', and John S. ii-gens and (Muirles F. (Ii-eening in flic 

187() — The eigliteenth legislature assembled January 4 and ad- 
journed March 'A. Mower county was represented in the senate 
by 1{. 1. Smith, and in the house by IL F. Deming and C. F. Green- 

1877- Tiu> niiiclcrnth Icgislatuiv assembled Jammry 2 and ad- 




6 and 



ed in 



r Ha 




A E 


journed March 2. Mower county was represented in the senate 
by R. I. Smith, and in the house by S. J. Sanborn and Hosmer 
A. Brown. 

1878 — The tAventieth legislature assembled January 8 and ad- 
journed IMarch 8. Mower county was represented in the senate 
by George W. Clough, and in the house by S. J. Sanborn and H. 
K. Volstad. 

1879 — The twenty-first legislature assembled Jamiary 7 and 
adjourned jMarch 7. IMower county was represented in the senate 
by \V. H. Officer, and in the house by J. F. Goodsell and J. D. 

1881 — The twenty-second legislature assembled January 4 and 
adjourned March 4. IMower county was represented in the senate 
by W. H. Officer, and in the house by J. D. Allen and P. A. Peter- 
son. An extra session called to consider a constitutional question 
in regard to action taken on the state railroad bonds at the regular 
session, assembled October 11 and closed November 13. This legis- 
lature reapportioned the state and Mower county became the 
third district. 

1883 — The twenty-third legislature assembled January 2 and 
adjourned March 2. The third district was represented in the 
senate by "W. L. Hollister, and in the house by John Frank and 
J. F. Carson. 

1885 — The twentj^-fourth legislature assembled January 6 and 
adjourned March 6. Mower county was represented in the senate 
by W. T. Wilkins, and in the house by H. W. Light! ey and J. F. 

1887 — The twenty-fifth legislature assembled January 4 and 
adjourned March 4. IMower county was represented in the senate 
by O. W. Gibson, and in the house by J. J. Furlong and E. S. 

1889 — The twenty-sixth legislature assembled January 8 and 
adjourned April 23. Mower county was represented in the senate 
by O. W. Gibson, and in the house by E. S. Hoppin and H. W. 

1891 — Although a reapportionment had been made in 1889, 
Mower county still remained the third district. The twenty- 
seventh legislature assembled January 6 and adjourned April 20. 
The third district was represented in the senate by Oscar Ayers 
and in the house by J. -J. Fiirlong and G. W. Benner. 

1893 — The twenty-eighth legislature convened January 3 .nid 
adjoiu'ned April 18. IMower county was represented in the third 
district by Oscar Ayers and in the house by J. J. Furlong and G. 
W. Benner. 

1895 — The twenty-ninth legislature convened January 8 and 
adjourned April 23. Mower county was represented in the senate 


by S. Sweuingson, and in tlie liouse hy J. J. Furlong and John 

1897 — The thirtieth legislature assembled January 5 and ad- 
journed April 21. Mower county was represented in the senate 
by S. Sweningsen, and in the house of C. L. "West and L. C. 
Seribner. In the reapportionment of this legislature IMower 
county became the sixth district, with one senator and two repi'e- 

1899 — The thirty-first legislature assembled January 3 and 
adjourned April 18. The sixth district was represented in the 
senate by S. Sweningsen, and in the hoiise by C. L. West and L. C. 

1901 — The thirty-second legislature assembled January 8 and 
adjourned April 12. Mower county was represented in the senate 
by S. Sweningsen, and in the house by George W. AV. Harden and 
W. A. Nolan. An extra session assembled February 4, 1902, and 
adjourned ]\Iarch 11 of the same year. 

1903 — The thirty-third legislature assembled January 6 and 
adjourned April 21. i\Iower county was represented in the 
senate by A. S. Campbell, and in the house by W. A. Nolan and 
H. W. Lightley. 

1905 — The thirty-fourth legislature assembled January 3 and 
adjourned April 18. Mower county was represented in the 
senate by A. S. Campbell, and in the house by W. A. Nolan and 
G. W. W. Harden. 

1907 — The thirty-fifth legislature assembled Januar.y 8 and ad- 
journed April 24. Mower county was represented in the sen- 
ate by A. S. Campbell, and in the hoi;se by W. A. Nolan and W. 
L. ITollister. 

1909 — The thirty-sixth legislature assemliled January 5 and 
adjourned January 5. jMower county Avas represented in the 
senate by A. S. Campbell, and in the house by "W. "\V. Nolan and 
Hubbard Carey. 

1911 — The thirty-seventh legislature assembled January 3, 
1911. Mower county was represented in tlie senate by Charles F. 
Cook, and in th(> house by Ralph Crane and Frank S. Christie. 


The first congressional district, in which, from the time of 
the admission of Minnesota as a state, IMower county has l)een 
included, has been represented in congress as follows: J. A. 
Cavanaugh, Democrat, IMarch 12, 1858, to ]\Iarch 4, 1859; Will- 
iam Windom, Republican, I\Iarch 4, 1859, to March 4, 1869; 
Morton S. Wilkinson, Republican. :\Iarcli 4, 18()9, to :\rarch 4, 
1871; Mark 11. Dunnell, Republican, .Alareh 4, 1871, to IMarch 4, 


1883 ; Milo White, Republican, March 4, 1883, to March 4, 1887 
Thomas Wilson, Democrat, March 4, 1887, to March 4, 1889 
Mark H. Dunnell, Republican, March 4, 1889, to March 4, 1891 
W. H. Harries, Democrat, March 4, 1891, to March 4, 1893 
James A. Tawney, Republican, March 4, 1893, to March 4, 1911 
Sidney A. Anderson, pro^essive Republican, 1911-13. 

Until Minnesota became a state it had only one representa- 
tive in congress, a territorial delegate, who was not allowed to 
vote. The first territorial delegate from Minnesota was Henry 
H. Sibley, who was first sent ostensibly as a delegate from the 
territory of Wisconsin, though living on the present site of 
Mendota, at the mouth of the Minnesota river. He sat as a ter- 
ritorial delegate from January 15, 1849, to December 5, 1853. 
He was succeeded by Henry M. Rice, who served imtil December 
7, 1857. W. W. Kingsbury was elected to succeed him and served 
until December 6, 1858. As has been noted, the United States 
senate, February 23, 1857, passed an act authorizing the people 
of Minnesota to form a constitution preparatory to their admis- 
sion to the union. In accordance with the provisions of this 
enabling act, a constitutional convention was held July 13, 1857, 
at the territorial capital. October 13, 1857, an election was held, 
when the constitution was adopted and a full list of state officers 
elected. Three congressmen were also elected at this time — 
George L. Becker, W. W. Phelps and J. M. Cavanaugh — but it 
was afterward found that Minnesota was entitled to only two 
congressmen and the matter was amicably adjusted by the with- 
drawal of Mr. Becker. By this election, the Messrs. Phelps and 
Cavanaugh became the first members of congress from the state 
of Minnesota. 

In the winter of 1857-58 the legislature divided the state into 
two congressional districts, the southern part becoming the first 
congressional district and the northern part the second. Mower 
county thus becoming a part of the first congressional district. 

By the apportionment of 1872, the state was divided into three 
congressional districts. The first district contained the counties 
of Winona, Houston, Olmsted, Fillmore, Dodge, Steele, Mower, 
Freeborn, Waseca, Faribault, Blue Earth, Watonwan, Martin, 
Jackson, Cottonwood, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone and Rock. 

By the apportionment of 1881, the state was divided into five 
congressional districts. The first district contained the counties 
of Houston, Fillmore, Mower, Freeborn, Steele, Dodge, Olmsted, 
Winona and Wabasha. 

By the apportionment of 1891, the state was divided into 
seven congressional districts. The first district contained tlie 
counties of Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, IMower, Olmsted, 
Steele, Wabasha, Waseca and Winona. 


By the apportionment of 1901, the state was divided into nine 
congressional districts. This apportionment has continued to 
the present day. The first district now consists of the counties 
of Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn. Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Steele, 
"Wabasha, "Waseca and "Winona. 


Judicial History of Mower County — Judges Who Have Presided 
in the Courts of This District — Their Life, Ability and Char- 
acteristics — The Men Who Have Made Up the Bar of the 
County — Notable Cases That Have Been Tried Here — By 
Attorney Lafayette French. 

Nearly forty years ago there came to this county a young 
lawyer, just starting his career, who at once took an active part 
in the stirring events which for so many years made Slower 
county the maelstrom of political and legal conflicts. He has 
continued to remain here, has filled various offices, and has al- 
ways stood for clean, vigoroiis manhood in public and private 
life. As an attorney he is particularly gifted, having a thor- 
ough knowledge of the law, forensic abilities, acute perceptions 
and keen mind. Few lawyers in the state have tried as many 
cases before the higher courts, and none have won a higher per- 
centage of important suits. In securing such a man to write of 
the Bench and Bar, the publishers of this work are especially 
fortunate, for aside from his other equipment, he came here only 
sixteen years after the arrival of the first Mower county attorney, 
and has since been in active practice. Therefore the following 
article by the Hon. Lafayette French will not only be of deepest 
interest at the present time, but will also be a valuable work of 
reference tlirougbout the coming years. 


By an act of the legislature passed ]\Iarch 1, 1858, the county 
of Mower was declared to be an organized county. Commission- 
ers were appointed lo establish llie (-(tunty s(>at. and later it was 
made a pari ol' Hie liflh .judiciiil district, lion. N. M. Donaldson 


was elected the first judge of the fifth judicial district, and the 
first term of court held in Mower county was September, 1858. 
"When the fifth judicial district was organized there were but 
six judicial districts in this state. Judge Donaldson presided 
over the fifth judicial district until January 1, 1872, when his 
successor, the Hon. Samuel Lord, ofificiated. At the time of his 
retirement Judge Donaldson was a man well along in years. 
He possessed a good deal of dignity, candor and fairness. There 
was little business during his term of office to transact in this 
county, and the suits involved were chiefly those for money 
demand. He resided at Owatonna, and died a few years after 
he ceased to be judge. Judge Samuel Lord, who was elected as 
Judge Donaldson's successor, lived at Mantorville, Dodge county, 
Minnesota, and held but two terms of court in this county. 
He was a fair judge and gave general satisfaction. In the winter 
of 1872 a new judicial district was created composed of the 
counties of Houston, Fillmore, Mower, Freeborn, and at fall 
election the Hon. Sherman Page was elected judge of the newly 
created district. Judge Page held office during the term of six 
years. He was a man of marked ability and possessed of an 
analytical mind of large perception, and was quick to dispatch 
business, but he was too much of a partisan to be a judge. Nat- 
urally combative, quick to form conclusions, he took sides on 
every matter that came before him. He was a man of strong 
feelings, but when he did not allow his judgment to be warped 
by prejudice against the attorneys of parties of the cause before 
him he was a very able judge. In the fall of 1878 the lower 
house of the legislature prepared articles of impeachment and 
he was put upon his trial in May. 1878, before the senate sitting 
as a court of impeachment. The prosecution lacked the requisite 
number of votes to convict him and he was acquitted. The 
charges consisted largely of allegations of" wrongful, malicious and 
oppressive conduct, while judge." After his impeachment trial 
he again was a candidate for election, but was defeated by Hon. 
J. Q. Farmer, of Spring Valley, Fillmore county. Judge Farmer 
continued to preside over the district for thirteen years, when 
he voluntarily and of his own motion retired from office. "While 
Judge Farmer was not a student, he possessed a judicial mind, 
and was eminently fair. Jurors, suitors and attorneys in his 
court felt instinctively that they had been dealt with in all fair- 
ness. He was loved and esteemed by both the laity and the bar 
of his district. He was one of the most conscientious and fair- 
minded men that presided over the courts of this state. He was 
not a learned lawyer, did not profess to be, but he had a judicial 
mind with rugged common sense and a love of justice that 


iiiado him almost an ideal judge. There are few judges that 
were more universally loved and esteemed by the people of his 
judicial district than he. Judge Farmer, refusing to serve longer 
upon the bench, was succeeded by the election of the Hon. John 
Whytock, of Albert -Lea, Freeborn ccTunty. He acted as judge 
for the full term of his office, six years, and at the November 
election he was re-elected. In November, 1897, while holding 
court at Preston, Fillmore county, he was taken ill and a few 
weeks after died at his home in Albert Lea. Judge Whytock 
was a good lawyer and had many qualifications that fitted him 
for a jiidge, but he was hard of hearing, and considerably more 
so than he realized. There was some difficulty in transacting 
business before him. He did not hear all of the testimony and 
hence in ruling upon questions of the admissibility of evidence 
appeared to disadvantage, but he w^as a good man, intended to 
be fair, and aside from the defect of hearing, made a good judge. 
Governor Clough appointed as his successor the Hon. Nathan 
Kingsley, of Austin, Mower county, and he has been re-elected 
judge of this district without opposition to the present time. 
He has served with entire satisfaction to the bar and the people 
of this district. He is peculiarly fitted and qualified for a good 
judge. He has, in a marked degree, a judicial mind. He is 
studious, painstaking and careful and above all he possesses that 
candor and fairness which is becoming to a judge. Industrious, 
he is diligent in his search for the right, and his sense of justice 
is tempered by his mild and humane manner. Patience, studious^ 
ness and the love of justice are some of his distinctive character- 
istics. He is still the presiding judge. Judge Kingsley is also 
a prominent Mason, and is Grand High Priest of the Grand Chap- 
ter, R. A. M. 


The first attorney to establish himself in the law business at 
Austin was Ormanzo Allen, who came from Wisconsin, July 2, 
1856. He continued to reside here until his death a few years 
ago. He was engaged in the trial of but few cases. He Avas an 
office lawyer and confined his labors to conveyancing and giving 
advice. He was an exemplary citizen, and at one time was con- 
sidered quite wealthy, but in later years lost the l)ulk of his 
property in speculation. 

The second lawyer lo ('stal)]isli liiiiiscll' in Austin was Aaron 
S. p]verest. He came from High Forest in, 1856, and 
was formerly, it is believed, a resident of the state of New York, 
His education was limited, but he possessed a good deal of native 
al)ility and was naturally a good lawyer. He was quite active 
in ]in]iti('s while lie resided in tliis cnnnty. In ISTO lie rcnioved 


to Athison, Kansas, where, in connection with his partnei", j\Ir. 
Wagner, he built up a large and lucrative business. He died 
some seven or eight years ago at Atchison, Kansas. 

Another lawyer of considerable note was D. B. Johnson, Jr. 
He came to Austin in 1856. He engaged in surveying and mer- 
chandising until the term of court held in September, 1858, when 
he was admitted to the bar. Like most lawyers he was engaged 
in politics, and held the offices of justice of peace, county attorney 
one term, and county auditor one term. In August, 1871, he was 
appointed one of the associate justices of the territory of New 
Mexico, but resigned in 1872. From 1858 until 1871 he was 
associated in the practice of laAv under the firm name of Cameron 
& Johnson. After his retirement from the bench in 1872 he was 
in practice alone until 1888, when he formed a partnership with 
S. D. Catherwood. Later in the eighties he was elected county 
attorney, and after his retirement from office moved to Portland, 
Oregon, where he died twelve or fifteen years ago. Judge John- 
son was a man of more than the ordinary ability. He was pos- 
sessed of a fair education and was quite studions. He possessed 
a quick and logical mind, and would have been a splendid trial 
laAvyer if he had been more aggressive and possessed of con- 
fidence in his own ability. He was regarded as one of the ablest 
trial lawyers in the county. 

C. J. Short came to Minnesota in 1856 and settled in North- 
field, where he engaged in surveying. He was educated- in the 
Vermont State University, where he graduated in 1855. He com- 
menced the study of law in 1857, with Bachelor & Buckam, of 
Faribault, and in 1858 was admitted to practice. In the spring 
of 1859 he removed to Austin and formed a partnership with 
Ormanzo Allen, which continued for several years. He was 
elected county attorney in 1860 and held that office in 1860-61- 
62-63-65-66-69 and 70. He then moved to the town of Dexter, 
in this county, where he engaged in farming for six years. In 
1881 he returned to Austin, where he resided until his death. 
He lacked the force and energy necessary to make him a suc- 
cessful lawyer. He was studious, and was reputed, in his day, 
to be the most scholarly lawyer at the bar. 

George M. Cameron came to Austin, November 27, 1856. He 
was a Canadian by birth and educated in the district school and 
at the State University at Madison, "Wisconsin. In 1858 he was 
admitted to the bar at Austin to practice in the courts of jNIinne- 
sota. He always enjoyed a good practice while he lived and 
was in practice. He was elected to the office of probate judgf in 
1860 and was again elected in 1876 and 1878. He was the first 
mayor of the city of Austin. He wa.s honorable in his profession 
and ranked high as a trial lawyer. When not serving as probate 


judge he was constantly in active practice nntil he retired in 
1887. He possessed a logical mind and a keen perception of 
what a controversy in question was about. He was looked upon 
as an able and honest lawyer. The fact of his being repeatedly 
chosen to important offices testifies as to his popularity as a man 
and recognition of his worth as a citizen. He was engaged as 
chief or associate counsel in all of the important eases that were 
tried in this county while he was in active practice. He was 
kind and benevolent to the poor. His charges for his services 
were reasonable and just. In 1887 his mind gave way, and he 
remained on his farm near Brownsdale in this county until the 
time of his death. 

In 1866 Sherman Page and E. 0. Wheeler came to Austin and 
formed a partnership in the practice of law. Mr. AVheeler coming 
direct, it is believed, from New York, which was his home, Mr. 
Page coming from Decorah, Iowa. Prior to that he had been 
at Lancaster, "Wisconsin, for a number of years engaged as super- 
intendent of the schools of both Decorah and Lancaster. Mr. 
Page was originally from Vermont. The firm of Page & AVheeler 
continued until the election of Mr. Page as judge of this district 
in 1872. They did a large commercial business and also dealt 
largely in real estate. Mr. Wheeler was a tine office lawyer, as 
well as a good counselor. After Mr. Page was elected judge 
Mr. Wheeler continued the practice of law either alone or in 
partnership with his brother, R. B. Wheeler, until 1879, when 
he moved to Auburn, New York, to engage in the practice of his 
profession with Judge Howland of that city. Judge Page re- 
mained upon the bench until his term of office expired January 1, 
1880. He practiced until 1882, when he removed to California. 
Judge Page was a forcible and pleasant speaker. As a trial 
lawyer he had few equals, if any, in the state. 

L. Beauregard practiced law for a short time in Austin. He 
was a law student in the office of Aaron S. Everest and was ad- 
mitted to the bar under his tutelage. He was elected county 
attorney, but subsequently had to resign the office, and he re- 
moved to ITtali and from there to New ]\Iexico. 

In 1871 John J\I. Greenman came to Austin. He was a native 
of New York, but when a young man removed to the state of 
Wisconsin. He formed a partnership with I. N. Hawkins and 
llic fii-in (-(mtinued initil 1873. Tii 18D() he formed a partnership 
witli R. J. Dowdall. He has served as county attorney, city 
attorney and judge of probate. Except while holding the office 
of judge of probate IMr. Greenman has been in active practice 
and one of the prominent attorneys of this county. He is a 
pleasant gentleman and a good lawyer. 

Mr. Hawkins discontinued Ihe ])ractice of law after tlie dis- 


solution of the firm of Greenmau & Hawkins. He served as city 
attorney, and in 1873 was a candidate for senator but was de- 
feated for that office. His defeat was due to the Grange move- 
ment, which swept the entire state, except that the Republicans 
elected their candidate for governor. Mr. Hawkins was suffering 
from a wound, which he had received in the civil war. He was 
a pleasant and amiable gentleman, and was a man possessed 
of considerable means. He removed from the state shortly after 
his defeat for the legislature. 

In the early fall of 1871 Lafayette French came to Austin, 
and at the September term of court of that year was admitted 
to the bar. January 1, 1872, he formed a partnership with W. 
H. Crandall in the practice of law. In 1878 the firm was dis- 
solved, Mr. Crandall retiring for the purpose of going into the 
insurance business. Mr. Crandall was a fair lawyer, but the 
turmoil and strife of an active life in the legal profession was 
distasteful to him. Mr. French has continued in the practice of 
his profession until the present time. 

In 1870, Eugene B. Crane opened an office and commenced 
the practice of law. He soon engaged in the real estate business. 
He remained in Austin for several years and afterwards removed 
to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he is engaged in his profession. 

W. H. jMerrick studied law with his father in ]\Iilwaukee, 
Wisconsin. He came to Austin and engaged in merchandise. 
Some years later he was admitted to the bar and practiced four 
or five years. In 1882 he removed to Portland, Oregon, where 
he now resides. 

In 1875 or 1876 C. C. Kinsman came to Austin and opened 
an office for the practice of law. In the fall of 1878 he was 
nominated and elected county attorney. In January, 1880, he 
declined a renomination and was elected court commissioner. 
In 1881 he moved to Cumberland. Wisconsin, where he continued 
in practice until his death. He was a well read lawyer, but lacked 
force and aggressiveness. He was a gentleman of splendid habits 
and a good citizen. 

In 1882 James D. Sheedy was admitted to the bar of this coun- 
ty. He served as justice of the peace and was in the office of 
Lafayette French about four and a half years, but the profession 
of the law was not lucrative enough and so, finally, he drifted into 
real estate and became connected with the Alliance Fire and Hail 
Insurance Company and afterwards became president of that com- 
pany. The law was not to his taste. In his chosen field of labor 
he has been very successful and is a prominent worthy citizen. 

In 1883 R. B. Wheeler, who succeeded the firm (^f E. O. 
Wheeler and R. B. Wheeler, removed to St. Paul. The tinn of 
Richardson & Day succeeded to his business. 


Richardson & Day -were young men who had graduated at our 
high school in Austin. They did a commercial and real estate 
business similar to that of R. B. Wheeler. They associated with 
them L. A. Pierce, who came from Auburn, New York, in 1887. 
Mr. Pierce was an able lawyer, but his desire for office and ex- 
travagant habits prevented him from succeeding as a lawyer. In 
the fall of 1887 AV. E. Richardson and F. A. Day removed to Du- 
luth in this state, where they continued to follow the law and real 
estate business. 

In 1887 Arthur AV. AVright and LaFayette French bought out 
the business of Richardson & Day and formed a co-partnership 
under the firm name of French & Wright, Mr. Wright looking 
after the real estate and loans of the office and Mr. French seemg 
to the law business of the firm. Tliey continued in business until 
1898, when the lirm dissolved by mutual consent, ]\Ir. Wright suc- 
ceeding to the business and Air. French continuing the practice of 
law alone. Since then Mr. AVright has had a large business in 
commercial law and real estate. He was elected county attorney 
and re-elected without opposition for eight years, when he volun- 
tarily withdrew as a candidate for that office. Perhaps the cou-aty 
was never more fortunate than in the selection of Colonel AVriiz:lit 
for county attorney. For honesty, efficiency and ability the coun- 
ty has been well served. He is still in active practice, with many 
years of usefulness before him. He served as major in the Span- 
ish- Amei-ican war and is one of the prominent men at the bar in 
this coiinty. His correct life and high sense of lionor and clean 
habits make him justly an ornament to the bar. 

In 1886 or 1887 Nathan Kingsley and R. E. Shepherd moved 
over from Chatfield, Alinnesota, to Austin. They opened an office 
under the firm name of Kingsley & Shepherd. The firm continued 
until Governor Clou<i:h, about t^^'elve years ago, appointed Air. 
Kingsley judge of the tenth judicial district. Both gentlemen 
were possessed of a higli sense of honor and were leading attor- 
neys here until the dissolution of the firm. The firm was continu- 
ously engaged on one side or the other of important litigation in 
this and adjoining counties. The firm did a successful business. 
Air. Kingsley })eing especially strong as a trial lawyer. Upon the 
dissolution of the firm Air. Shepherd was alone some two weeks 
and was succeeded by tlie firm of Shepherd & Catlierwood. Air. 
Slicplni'd was ch'clcd county jittorncy for two oi- three terms and 
made ;i good and efficient oriiccr. lie was a good lawyer and an 
enterprising citizen. Ue ])ossesse{l a lovable nature. conil)i]u^d 
with Avit ami lininor. that made him wry popular with his brother 
lawyei-s. Some four or five years ago tlie firm was dissolved and 
he removed to liillings, Alontana, where he engaged in tlie real 
estate Mud liankiu''- business, which was moi'c congenial to his 


taste than the practice of law. His partner, S. D. Catherwood, 
succeeded to the business of the firm. Mr. Catherwood spent 
most of his life in Austin or in the adjoining county of Freeborn. 
Pie is a graduate of the State University and not only possesses 
a good academic education, but is Avell grounded in the law. He 
was admitted to the bar in 1888, and has since been engaged in 
the practice at the city of Austin. He has been county attorney 
for tlu-ee terms, and that is the only office he has aspired to. He 
has not engaged in any other business except the practice of law. 
He stands high in the rank of lawyers in southern Minnesota, and 
in the state. His life demonstrates what a young man who has 
fair ability, with industry and close attention to business can ac- 
complish in a lifetime. ]\Ir. Catherwood is in the prime of life and 
enjoys a lucrative business. He is a good all around lawyer. One 
year ago he formed a co-partnership with J. N. Nicholsen, and the 
firm promises to be one of the strongest in the southern part of 
the state. 

Mr. Nicholsen is a graduate of the Austin high school, read 
law in the office of Kingsley & Shepherd, and attended the law 
school at Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was thoroughly equipped for 
the practice of his profession when he was admitted to the bar in 
3902. Shortly after his admission he formed a partnership with 
Frank E. Putnam at Blue Earth, under the firm name of Putnam 
& Nicholsen. The firm continued until 1909, when it was dis- 
solved, j\Ir. Nicholsen coming to Austin and forming a partner- 
ship with S. D. Catherwood. Tlie firm lias a Avide and extensive 

W. W. Ranney is a graduate of the law department in the 
State University of Iowa, in 1876. In 1878 he located at Grand 
Meadow in this county, where he practiced his profession for a 
number of years. He then removed to Austin, where he was 
elected to the office of probate judge. He has been more of an 
office than a trial lawyer. He is a good citizen and highly re- 
spected by all who know him. 

In 1882 Lyman D. Baird was admitted to the bar. He was 
city attorney of Austin in 1884. Since 1885 he has confined him- 
self chiefiy to the real estate business, in which he has been a de- 
cided success. Mr. Baird is considered a shrewd man of business 
and an enterprising and public spirited citizen, and one of the 
most progressive young men in the city of Austin. 

In April, 1884, L. F. Clausen moved from Blooming Prairie to 
Austin, opened an office and engaged in the practice of law until 
about 1902, when he removed to North Dakota, where he is still 
engaged in the practice of his profes.sion. Mr. Clausen was elected 
county attorney of this county a short time after moving here. 
He was born in Mitchell countv, Iowa, in 1856, and is a son of 


Rev. C. L. Clausen, the founder of the Lutheran church at Austin, 
and one of the earliest ministers of that denomination in Austin, 

In 1896 R. J. Dowdall, a Canadian by birth, came to Austin 
and formed a partnership with J. M. Greenman for the practice 
of law. Mr. Dowdall was a gentleman of fine ability and came 
from a family of some prominence in Canada. He continiu-d in 
the practice of law at Austin some five or six years, when he re- 
moved to the northern part of the state. He was a strong trial 
lawyer, but was not discriminating enough and often appeared 
on the wrong side of a ease. 

Ten years ago T. H. Pridham came to Austin and engaged in 
the practice of law until the summer of 1910. Mr. Pridham was 
industrious and painstaking in the business entrusted to his care. 
He was city attorney for six or eight years and resigned that office 
when he removed to Helena, Montana. He is a young man of 
good habits and cpiite promising in his profession. 

In 1900 Fay W. Greenman was admitted to the bar. He is a 
son of J. M. Greenman and upon his admission became a member 
of the firm of Greenman & Dowdall, the name being changed to 
Greenman, Dowdall & Greenman. "When the firm was dissolved 
and his father elected to the office of judge of probate, he prac- 
ticed his profession alone. He graduated from the high school of 
Austin with honors. He is a young man of good habits, studious 
and industrious. In his social relations he is a most agreeable 
young man. In the ten years that he has been in practice he has 
built up a good business for a young man. He has tried a good 
many cases and many with credit to himself. 

In 1909 Frank G. Sasse came to Austin from Fairmont, IMinne- 
sota, and formed a co-partnership with LaFayette French. Mr. 
Sasse graduated from the academic departnu^ut of the State Uni- 
versity witli honor in 1898 and from the law department of that 
institution in 1900. He practiced his profession at St. Charles, 
^Minnesota, for two or three years, when he removed to Fairmont 
where lie formed a partnership under the name of Mathwig & 
Sasse. In the fall of 1908 he was elected county attorney of 
.Martin cuiuity, but resigned the office when he moved to Austin 
to become associated with ^Ir. French. He is very studious and 
has all the qualifications for making a successful lawyer. 

In addition to the lawyers of Austin there have been several 
at LeRoy village. Grand Meadow village and the village of 
Rrownsdale. F. .M. Goodykoontz was the first lawyer at the 
village of LeRoy, coming there in 1867 from Iowa. He formed a 
co-partnership with J. M. AVykoff. AVhen the firm was dissolved 
he removed to Nora SpriYigs, and from there to Mason City, 
Iowa, and in 1884 he moved to South Dakota. He was a lawyer 


of a good deal of ability and his removal from tlic state was a 
decided loss to the profession. 

J. M. Wykofif continued to do business alone, but his practice 
has been confined chietly to real estate, conveyance and office 

Joseph McKnight Avas admitted to the bar at Austin in 1882. 
together with J. P. Trask, E. J. Kingsbury and J. S. Bish.op. 
They constituted the bar at LeRoy until about 1895. 

G. W. W. Harden is a graduate of the law school of the State 
University, has been village attorney, and in 1901 was elected a 
member of the state legislature. He is a good lav/yer but his 
work is confined mostly to commercial business and real estate. 
He is still in practice at LeRoj^. 

Judge Ranney was formerly at Grand IMeadow, but being 
elected judge of probate, moved to Austin. 

About 1878 George F. Goodwin opened an office at Grand 
Meadow. In 1880 or 1881 he was elected to the office of county 
attorjic}'. Ho prosecuted, while county attorney, the case of the 
state vs. John A. Riley for attempt to murder Judge Page. He 
was assisted in that case by Hon. J. M. Burlingame, of Owatonna; 
Minnesota. In 1884 he removed to North Dakota and was elected 
attorney geiieral of that state shortly after it -was admitted into 
the Union. He held the office one term and then moved to Salt 
Lake City, Utah. He is a studious, painstaking young lawyer, 
and since leaving this state has gained considerable prominence. 

Capt. A. J. Hunt came to Brownsdale village in 1873. He was 
formerly from Wisconsin, He opened an office and was engaged 
in the practice of law and dealt in real estate until 1888, when 
he moved to Georgia. 

Otto and Carl Baudler are graduates of tlie Austin liigh 
school, and from the law department of the State University. 
They commenced the practice of law three years ago at Blooming- 
Prairie, in Steele county. In 1909 they moved to Austin and 
opened an office. In the fall of 1910 Otto Baudler was elected 
county attorney of this county by a handsome vote. They are 
brothers and sons of William Baudler, who is one of the pioneers 
of Austin. They are clean, studious young men and they promise 
to be quite an acquisition to the bar. This comprises the law- 
yers who reside and practiced in ]Mower county. 

In 1890 A. C. Page was admitted to the bar. since which time 
he has been in the office of L. D. Baird. He is a young man of 
exemplary habits and is given more to real estate and collections 
than to trial practice. At present he is alderman at large in the 
city of Austin. 

In 1903 Edward P. Kelly was admitted to the bar. For three 
years he read law under the direction of Lafayette Frencli and 


attended the Summer Law School at Ann Arbor, Mich., for two 
years. After his admission to the bar he formed a partnership 
•with Lafayette French under the firm name of French & Kelly, 
which continued until 1905, when he removed to Carrington, 
N. D., where he is still engaged in the practice of law. Mr. 
Kelly is well equipped for the practice of his profession and from 
the time of his admission until the present time he has met with 
splendid success in his profession. 

In 1907 Henry Weber, Jr., was admitted to practice law. He 
was located at Dexter, in this county, and continued in the 
practice until the fall of 1910, when he was elected probate judge 
of this county, which office he fills at the present time. ^Ir. 
Weber is an exemplary citizen and his honor and integrity are 
beyond question. 


Tliis article would be incomplete Avithout stating some of tli'^ 
most important criminal and civil cases witli which the lawyers 
of this county were connected. 

The first homicide ease was that of Chauncey Leverich. Lever- 
ieh was in a saloon in Austin in the month of August. 1856, and 
was killed by Horace Silver and "William Oliver. Silver and 
Oliver were arrested for assault and battery and Silver fined 
$20.00 and Oliver $10.00. The prosecution was conducted bj^ 
Jolm Tift and the defense "i)y Arron S. Everest and 0. Allen. 
When the defendants learned that Leverich would not recover, 
they paid their fines and left the country. Leverich died from 
the wounds he received a Aveek later. The county Avas ucav and 
this case illustrates the ci-ude Avay in Avliicli justice Avas adminis- 
tered in an early day. 

In 1868 John and Oliver Potter and George and William Keni]) 
with others Avere arrested for killing Chauncey Knapp. C. J. 
Short appeared for the state and John Q. Farmer, of Fillmore 
county, Avho afterAvards became district judge of this district, 
and his brother, J. D. Farmer, appeared for the defendants. 
George and AVilliam Kemp were tried and acquitted. A change 
of A'enue was granted the Potters and the case sent to Fillmore 
county. Judge Donaldson Avas the presiding judge. None of the 
parties Avas ever punished for tliis foul murder. 

In 187:3 the case of tlie State of ^Minnesota against OK' Bang, 
charged Avith homicide, Avas tried. Bang Avas convicted of man- 
shiughter and sentenced for four years in the state prison. The 
prosecution Avas conducted ])y Vj. O. Wheeler, the then county 
Mflonicy. Till- (Icrcndaiit 's couscl was Sliei'mau Page, .ludge 
Saiiiurl Lord |)resi(ling. 


The most important criminal case was tried at the March 
term of the district court in 1881, the State of Minnesota vs. John 
A. Riley. Riley was charged with an attempt to assassinate Judge 
Sherman Page. George P. Goodwin was the then prosecuting 
attorney, and he was ably assisted by J. M. Burlingame, Esq., an 
able attorney from Owatonna. The defendant was represented 
by Lafayette French, G. M. Cameron, of this city, and W. W. Er- 
win, of St. Paul. Judge Daniel A. Dickenson, who was then dis- 
trict judge at Mankato and later one of the associate justices of 
tlie Supreme Bench, was called by Judge Farmer to preside in his 
place. The case was an important one. It probably created as 
much talk and newspaper comment as any case tried in the 
county. Judge Page, whom Riley was charged with attempt 
to assassinate, was a prominent person. Riley was brought 
by Pinkerton's detective from the neighboring state of Wiscon- 
sin into Minnesota to answer to the charge. He was confined in a 
jail outside the county. The sentiment in favor of and against 
Page was intensely partisan. There was a great deal of feeling 
displayed during the trial by the atto"rneys and parties interested 
in t]ie case. After a lengthy trial the jury brought in a verdict 
of "not guilty" and Riley was discharged from custody. The 
case Avas ably handled by the attorneys for the state. Mr. Erwin 
made (he closing argument for the defense. He was then in his 
prime, forty or forty-five years of age, and had a great reputation 
as a criminal lawyer. Probably his argument was the finest ever 
made to a jury in this county. Two years ago he died in Florida. 

In January, 1874, was tried the case of the State of Minnesota 
vs. AV. D. Jaynes. The defendant was indicted on the charge of 
rape. The immediate parties stood high in social circles and the 
arrest of Jaynes created a great sensation in this county. The 
state was represented by LaFayette French, the county attornej^, 
and Colonel Kerr, of St. Paul, and the defendant by E. 0. Wheeler 
and Gordon E. Cole, of Faribault. Judge Page was presiding 
judge. The first trial resulted in the conviction of Jaynes, but 
a new trial was granted on the ground that the prisoner was not 
present in court but was confined in the county jail at the time 
the jury returned the verdict. The case was afterwards tried 
twice. The second time the jury disagreed and the third time 
Jaynes was acquitted. In the last two trials the state was repre- 
sented by Lafayette French and M. J. Severance, of Mankato, 
and the defendant by Wheeler and Cole. During the trial there 
was an immense crowd, and only about half of the curious ones 
could get into the court house. i\[. J. Severance closed for the 
•state and Gordon E. Cole for the defendant. They were both able 
lawyers and had a state wide reputation. 

In June, 1898, the case of the State of .Minnesota v.s. :iiilt 


Williams was tried. "Williams was charged with the murder of 
one Flymi. Williams' mother kept a hotel in the city of Austin. 
Flyun and "Williams had been drinking one evening, and while 
engaged in conversation with t\A'o girls who worked for ^Irs. 
Williams, ]\Ii]t shot Flynn. Williams was a young man, twenty- 
six years of age, who had been petted and humored by his mother. 
He was mixed up in several fights before this one. The state was 
represented by S. D. Catherwood, who was then county attorney, 
and Lafayette French. Greenman & Dowdall represented thu 
defendant. Judge Whitoek was the presiding judge. The trial 
lasted for several days. There was a good deal of excitement 
during the trial. The jury found the defendant guilty as charged 
in the indictment. Afterwards W. W. Erwin was called into the 
ease and a motion made for a new trial and argued and the same 
denied by the court. An application to the pardoning board was 
made in behalf of Williams and Erwin succeeded in getting Wil- 
liams' sentence commuted from murder in the first degree to 
murder in the second degree, and he was sentenced to the peni- 
tentiary for life. He and Iris counsel stipulated that no further 
pardon or commutation of his sentence would be asked for. Too 
much credit cannot be given to Mr. Catherwood, the then county 
attorney, in his management of the case. Flynn 's body had been 
shipped to Buti'alo within a day or two after the shooting and 
without Mr. Catherwood 's knowledge. There were several things 
in the prosecution that would have prevented the conviction had 
it not been for the skill and industry displayed by the county at- 
torney. The conviction of Williams, who had an unsavory repu- 
tation, Avas due to the efforts of Mr. Catherwood. 

Jn 1900 John B. Anderson was indicted, charged with the 
crime of murder. Anderson was a farmer living in the town of 
^larshall, and had a wife and several small children. He killed 
his wife by beating her brains out with a flat-iron. When the 
neighbors discovered her she was lying on the floor in a pool of 
blood. A nursing child who had attempted to reach its mother's 
breast to nurse had crawled through tliis blood. Anderson 
was found concealed in a straw stack. It was a horrible crime 
and the community was very much wrought up. On his arraign- 
ment he entered a plea of not guilty. The state was repre- 
sented by R. E. Sheperd, the then county attorney of this county, 
and the defendant by Lafayette French, who had consented to ap- 
pear for Anderson through the entreaties of his friends. After 
a thorougli investigation of the matter, the defendant's counsel 
became convinced that Anderson was insane at the time he com- 
mitted the crime. He had fallen from a mast of a ship years 
before, receiving an injury to his head, from which he suffei'ed 
thereafter. This injury to the brain, liis counsel l)elievod. had 


affected his mind to sucli an extent that he was not responsible 
for the act, but that he was a man that onght not to be turned 
loose, and for the protection of society ought to be confined in 
some safe place. After mature deliberation and a conference witli 
the attorney general, it was deemed advisable to have him with- 
draw his plea of not guilty and to enter a plea of guilty of mur- 
der in the second degree. The action of the court and the counsel 
in the disposition of this case was generally commended through- 
out the county. 

In January, 1903, Frank W. Bell was indicted and charged 
with murder in the first degree. The state was represented by 
Col. A. W. Wright, the then county attorney, and S. D. Cather- 
wood, and the defendant was represented by Lafayette French. 
Judge Kingsley was presiding judge. Bell was the station agent 
of the Chicago Great Western Railway Company at Elkton, in 
this county. A man by the name of Cole had shipped a car of 
lumber to Elkton to be unloaded and to be hauled by team near 
the village of Grand Meadow. Cole employed Nelson S. Green, 
with his team, to draw the lumber. The ear had been at Elkton 
for several days and there was some demurrage charges against 
it. Green came after the lumlier in the morning but Bell refused 
to break the seal and open the car until the demurrage charges 
were paid. Gr'^en was a large, muscular man, while Bell was 
a dinjinutlve, frail man. Green attempted to break the seal of 
the car and Bell tried to prevent him. Cole telephoned Green 
to break the seal and, if necessary, break Bell's head. Green 
picked up a piece of board for the purpose, it was claimed by the 
state, to l)reak tlie car seal, but defendant claimed that it was for 
the purpose of striking Bell. Bell drew a revolver and shot 
Green twice. Either shot would have proved fatal in time. Green 
died within a few hours afterwards. There was a great deal of 
feeling. Green being a prominent farmer, a Mason and a Grand 
Army man. It was almost impossible at the first trial to secure 
an impartial verdict. The jury rendered a verdict of giiilty 
within a few moments after retiring. The defendant moved for 
a new trial, which was granted, and a special term held in March. 
1903. On a second trial the defendant was acquitted. The 
trial of this case illustrates how easily public sentiment can be 
changed by a knowledge of the facts. At the beginning of the 
first trial the people clamored for the defendant's conviction, but 
at the second trial public sentiment had changed and he was ac- 
quitted. Bell was a weak man physically and mentally. He was 
unbalanced, and shortly after the last trial lie became insane and 
was sent to an asylum in IMichigan. 

In 1871 the board of county commissioners of Mower county 
commenced an action against Sylvester Smith. Smith had been 


county treasurer of the county for eight years. The system of 
bookkeeping in vogue in the several county offices was very lax 
and crude. Smith was considered an honest man hy people who 
knew him, but an accountant hired by the county to examine 
the books found that he was short about $42,000. Suit was 
brought by the county against Smith to recover this sum. Page 
& Wheeler and Bachelor & Buckham were attorneys for the 
county and Cameron & Johnson, Gordon E. Cole and R. A. Jones 
appeared as attorneys for Smith. The case was referred to three 
referees, whom the court appointed to hear and try the ease and 
report judgment. After a somewhat lengthy trial the referees 
so appointed found a judgment of about $20,000 against Smith. 
Smith appealed the case to the Supreme Court and the case was 
sent back for another hearing. Mr. Page in the meantime had 
been elected judge of the District Court, and having been of the 
counsel was ineligible to sit and try the case. The parties agreed 
and the court appointed three other referees. The case came 
on for second trial, and Lafayette French, the then county attor- 
ney, E. 0. Wheeler and Bachelor & Buckham appeared for the 
county, and Cameron & Johnson. Gordon E. Cole and R. A. Jones 
appeared for Mr. Smith. After a lengthy trial the referees re- 
ported judgment in favor of Mr. Smith. The county records were 
kept so imperfectly that it was impossible to tell whether Smith 
should be charged with the shortage or not. Smith was believed 
to be honest, and that the discrepancy of the books and shortage 
in his accounts were due to the loose manner of keeping the 
books and accounts. 

In 1870 a complaint was sworn out against Sherman Page for 
tearing up a sidewalk. A warrant was issued and placed in 
the hands of Allan Mollison, the then sheriff, for service. He 
went to the office of Page & Wheeler to make the arrest late one 
afternoon. After a scuffle and words with the defendant, who 
refused to go, the curtains were pulled down and Page lit his 
lamps. The sheriff then stepped to the window and called his 
deputy, Colos Fenton, to a.ssist him. He found the door leading 
to the office locked, and after calling to Page to unlock the door 
and a refusal on his i)art to do .so, he knocked the door down 
and went in and arrested him. Mollison was sued by Page for 
false imprisonment, holding that as the charge was a mere mis- 
demeanor he could not legally be arrested after dark. Fenton 
Avas sued for breaking the door and entering the office in an action 
of trespass. The case against Fenton cmiiic on for trial at the 
September term in 1871. Page & Wheilcr wci'c tlicir own attor- 
neys and G. ^L Cameron and R. A. Jones, of Rochester, were 
attorneys for Fciitoii. The case came on for trial before Judge 
Donaldson and a jui'V. The case hinged largely upon llie point 


whether the ari-est was in the night time. Mr. Page summed 
up for the plaintiff and R. A. Jones for the defendant. It is a 
comment on the crude manner in which the courts were conducted 
in those days to note that all the counsel did in the summing up 
of the case was to abuse each other. The .jury after being charged 
returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff for $(500. Judgment 
was entered and later paid in full. 

In 1884 a fire occurred at Brownsdale in the saloon and cloth- 
ing store of George E. Rolph. The insurance companies, three 
in number, under a pretext that they were investigating the facts, 
required that Rolph submit to an examination, before a justice 
of the peace at Grand Meadow. The examination disclosed noth- 
ing but what the loss was a legitimate one and ought to be paid 
by the insurance companies, but they refused to pay it. Proofs 
of loss had not been made or submitted to the companies. Later 
proofs of loss were made and served upon the companies. They 
were returned and rejected on the . ground that they were not 
made within the time required by the policies. Suit was then 
commenced against the companies to recover the insurance. The 
companies answered and claimed that Rolph had set fire and 
destroyed the property; that he had sworn falsely in his state- 
ment in regard to the amount of property he had; that proofs 
of loss were not furnished in time as provided in the policies, and 
that the policies were void because he had no license to sell in- 
toxicating liquors at the time. The case against the insurance 
companies came on for trial before Judge Farmer and a jury. 
Lafayette French appeared for the plaintiff and Laing & Moly- 
neaux appeared for the defendants. The plaintiff had to rely 
for the most part upon a waiver. The jury found a verdict for 
the plaintiff in the three cases. One of the insurance companies, 
the Concordia, of Milwaukee, after the trial, paid up the amount 
recovered against that company. The other two companies, the 
Milwaukee Mechanics' Mutual and The German, of Freeport, made 
a motion for a new trial, which was denied, and the cases were 
taken to the supreme court on appeal. "While the two civil suits 
against the companies were pending in the supreme court Rolph 
was arrested, charged with the crimes of arson and perjury. He 
had testified in the civil suits as to what property was in the build- 
ing at the time of the fire and that he did not know how the fire 
took place. In the criminal cases of the state vs. Rolph, J. M. 
Greenman, the tlien county attorney, and J. W. Lusk, of St. Paul, 
appeared for t'.'c state and John A. Lovely and Lafayette French 
appeared for the defendant. The state claimed that Rolph fired 
the building, and that some of the property, a large anuiunt of 
liquor, was r('mi)V('<l l)y Rolph and l)uri('(l upon llie farm of one 
"Warren. Tlic insin-aiicc coinpanics had liircd Pinkerton de- 


tectives and they had found the liquor concealed on Warren's 
farm. Warren and his wife had made the confession to the 
detectives that they had assisted Rolph in concealing the liquor. 
Rolph was tried on the indictment charging him with perjury. 
Counsel for the state and for the defendant agreed to submit 
the case upon the evidence and the judge's charge, without argu- 
ment, although it was well known that J. W. Lusk, who appeared 
for the state, was one of the most able and skillful jury advocates 
while John A. Lovely had a reputation for being a most eloquent 
and able advocate. The jury retired and returned a verdict of 
"Not guilty.'' The state dismissed the other indictments. The 
appeal cases of the insurance companies were likewise dis- 
missed. The liquor, Avhich had been found on Warren's 
farm by the detectives, was turned over to the county attor- 
ney to lie used upon the trial of the ease against Rolph. After 
the termination of the criminal cases the court entered an order 
for the county attorney to turn over the liquor to his counsel, 
who had taken a bill of sale of the liquor from Rolph. After 
the arrest the liquor was safely kept in the cellar of the county 
attorney. When the liquor was opened and counsel were ready 
to dispose of it, they found that the liquor had been drawn out 
of the casks and water substituted in its place. While consider- 
able fun was had at the expense of the county attorney, no one 
thought seriously that he was responsible for disposing of the 

Probably the most important civil case that was ever tried 
in this county was the suit brought by Louis Rex Clay, by his 
guardian ad litem, Ida B. Clay vs. the Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul Railroad Company and Thomas H. Bennett, to recover 
damages, Avhich the plaintiff sustained at the village of Lyle, 
^Minnesota, on December 7, 1905. The case came on for trial at 
the January term, 1907. On the first trial the jury disagreed 
and the second trial of the case came on a few weeks 
later. At both trials the plaintiflf, Louis Rex Clay, was unable 
to be present in court. On the suggestion of his counsel, the jury 
and the lawyers, clerk of court and the sheriff, as well as Judge 
Kingsley, who jircsidcd at the trial, adjourned to his father's 
residence and his testimony was given while l.ying in bed. He 
was paralyzed from his should(>rs down. He wa.s a mere skeleton 
and unable to use any part of his body from below his head, 
lint his iniiid iind intellect was as cb'ar as it ever was. He entered 
the ciniiloyinciit of liic compniiy in the fall of 1905 as a freight 
brakcman. He wa.s struck by an elevated jilatform at the station 
of Lyle and was thereby swept from the west side of a coal car 
lui whicli lie was hanging and Ihcreliy injured. Tlie plaintiff was 
;i vdnnii' in;in nlinnt eighteen years ohl, bi'ight and intelligent. 


His father was an old conductor in the employ of the {'Oiiipany. 
The negligence charged in the complaint was that the company 
constructed and maintained the elevated platform in question 
in too close proximity to passing cars; that without any advice 
or instruction or information as to the dangerous character of 
the platform, he was directed and ordered to ride upon a gondola 
car of unusual width by this platform. The second trial lasted 
several days, and when the was submitted to them the jury 
returned a verdict for $35,000 against the company. Eighteen 
days after the verdict the plaintiff died from his injuries. The 
company made a motion for a judgment, notwithstanding the 
verdict, and in case that was denied, for a neAv trial. Both motions 
were denied and the case was taken on appeal to the supreme 
court. Owing to the importance of the case the rule was sus- 
pended and counsel were allowed as much time as they wished 
for argument, and were unlimited as to the number of counsel 
who were to argue the case. The case was ably argued by counsel 
for the railroad company, but after due consideration by the court 
the case was affirmed. In the trial the plaintiff was represented 
by Lovely & Dunn and Lafayette French, and the defendant by 
S. D. Catherwood and M. B. AVebber, of Winona. On May 4, 
1908, the company paid this verdict, which amounted to .$37,857.93, 
the largest verdict in a personal injury case that the supreme 
court of this state has ever affirmed. 



Old Land Grant Roads With Extensive Concessions — Roadbed 
Graded Through Mower County — Engine Reaches Le Roy — 
Freight Car Passes Through Mower County from New York 
to St. Paul — Later Growth and Development of the Railroad 
System in the County — Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul — 
Chicago Great Western — Illinois Central. 

]\Iower ccmnty is crossed by the lines of three great railways: 
The Chicago, ^Milwaukee & St. Paul, the Chicago Great Western 
and the Dubuque & Sioux City, operated by the Illinois Central. 
The Chicago, ^Milwaukee & St. Paul has two lines and five divisions 
in the county. The Iowa & ^Minnesota line has stations in this 
county at Lansing. Ramsey, Austin, Rose Creek, Adams, Taopi 
and Lc Rov. The :\Lis()ii Citv to Austin line lias stations in tliis 


county at Lansing, Ramsey, Varco and Lyle. These two lines 
embrace the following divisions : Iowa and Minnesota ; Mason City 
to Austin; St. Paul, Minneapolis and Des Moines; and the Minne- 
apolis, St. Paul & Kansas City. The Southern Minnesota division 
has stations in this county at Ramsey, Brownsdale, Dexter and 
Grand Meadow. The Chicago Great Western has also three lines 
in this county. The Minneapolis & St. Paul-Council Bluffs & 
Omaha Short line has stations in this county at Waltham, May- 
ville, Austin, Varco and Lyle. The Minneapolis & St. Paul- 
Chicago & Dubuque line, which in this county is identical with 
the Minneapolis & St. Paul-Des Moines, St. Joseph, Leavenworth 
& Kansas City short line, has stations in this county at Sargeant, 
Renova, Elkton and Taopi. The Minneapolis, St. Paul, Red "Wing, 
Rochester and Osage line, leased from the "Wisconsin, Minnesota 
& Pacific Railway Company, has stations at Racine and Le Roy 
in this county. The Dubuque & Sioux City, operated by the Illi- 
nois Central, has one branch, the Cedar Falls & Minnesota in this 
county, and one station, Lyle. 

These roads have been built at various times, and under vary- 
ing circumstances. The proposition for a railroad in Mower 
county was made in 1854, when the JMinnesota & Northwestern 
Railroad Company was incorporated by the legislature to con- 
struct a line from Lake Superior by way of St. Paul, by the most 
practicable route to the Iowa line. This company was given a 
grant of alternate sections, six sections wide, on either side of 
the road it should build from the Iowa line northward, anywhere 
^between ranges 9 and 17. This would have made it possible for 
the company to have secured control of considerable land in 
Mower county. In 1838 the grant to this company was made 
still more definite, and inchuling the building of a line road that 
should leave the Iowa line west of section thirteen and pass 
through Austin. The provisions of the grant were not complied 
with by the road, and the company never came into possession 
of the grant. In 1858 the grade for the Minneapolis & Cedar 
Valley road was made in this county. Then came nine years of 
waiting, during which time various propositions and wildcat plans 
were afloat. After this, on September 9, 1867, the first railroad 
engine ever operated in I\lower comity reached Le Roy. 

The Minnesota & Northwestern. On June 29. 1854, the T'nited 
States congress passed an act to aid the territory of ^Minnesota 
in the construction of a railroad from the southern line of the 
territory, commencing at a point between ranges 9 and 17; thence 
by way of St. Paul, by the most practicable route to the eastern 
line of the territory of Lake Superior. The act granted every 
alternate section of land, six sections in width, designated by odd 
numbers on both sides of road as it should be built. In the terri- 


torial legislature of 1854, Joseph R. Brown introduced a bill to 
incorporate the Minnesota & Northwestern Railroad Company. 
It was passed at midnight, on the last day of the session, and, 
contrary to expectation, Governor Gorman signed it. The route 
designated was from some point on Lake Superior by way of St. 
Paul to the Iowa line in the direction of Dubuque. As will be 
seen, the proposed route of the Minnesota & Northwestern Rail- 
road Company was identical with that mentioned in the land 
grant. After alterations and amendments, and charges of fraud 
both in the territorial legislattire and in Congress, the land grant 
act was repealed by congress. The company, however, contended 
that congress had no right to appeal the act. The higher courts 
also upheld the congressional repeal. The matter caused much 
discussion in succeeding sessions of the legislature, but in 1855 
the legislature passed an act to amend the incorporation of the 
Minnesota & Northwestern Railroad Company over the governor's 
veto. In 1856 the time for the building of the road was extended, 
and the extension approved by the governor. The road was 
chartered May 23, 1857, to build a line from the Iowa state line, 
somewhere west of section thirteen, via Austin, Mankato, etc., 
to New Ulm, Minn. In 1858, in a joint session, the legislature 
confirmed the territorial land grant of 1854, congress in the mean- 
time having made liberal provision for the giving of land grants 
to such railroads as should build in Minnesota. It was as the 
Minnesota & Northwestern that the Chicago Great "Western line 
from Hayfield to Omaha was first laid in this county. 


An act Avas approved by the Minnesota territorial legislature 
May 22, 1857, creating four railroad corporations, and granting 
them alternate sections, designated by odd numbers, six miles in 
width on each side of the roads and their branches, this being 
in accord with the liberal railroad land grant by congress. These 
four railroad corporations, viz.. the Minnesota & Pacific Railroad 
Company (changed to St. Paul & Paeifie Railroad Company) : the 
Minneapolis & Cedar A^alley Railroad Company; the Transit Rail- 
road Company (changed to Winona & St. Peter Railroad Com- 
pany) ; and the Root River Valley & Southern Minnesota Railroad 
Company. The first named was created originally by this act. 
The latter three had already been organized. The companies 
were to pay three per cent of their gross earnings in lieu of taxes 
and assessments, and the lands granted by congress were to be. 
exempt from all taxation vantil sold and conveyaneed by the com- 
panies. The corporations were generally given ten years to con- 


struct their respective roads. The financial embarrassments of 
1857 -retarded the progress of railroad building; and it also be- 
came evident that the parties who had obtained the railway char- 
ters mentioned had neither the money or credit to complete these 
great highways of internal improvements. 

The territory of ]\Iinnesota was admitted to statehood May 11, 
1858. The constitution ratified and adopted October 13, 1857, 
provided in article 10, section 2, that "no corporations shall be 
formed under special acts except for municipal purposes"; and 
it still further provided that "the credit of the state shall never 
be given nor loaned, in the aid of any individual, association or 
corporation. ' ' Notwithstanding the strong feeling worked up over 
the talk of getting bonds in the aid of railroads so badly needed 
in the state, the first act of the legislature, which was approved 
March 9, 1858, before the state was admitted, was to submit an 
amendment to the constitution, providing for loaning the state's 
credit to the four land grant roads to the extent of $1,250,000 
each, or $5,000,000 in all. provided $100,000 for every ten miles 
to be graded, and $100,000 for every ten miles when the cars were 
running regularly. In return it required the roads to pledge the 
net income to pay the interest on the bonds, and to convey the 
first 240 sections of land from the government grant to the state, 
and to deposit in first mortgage bonds an amount equal to the 
loan from the state for security. This proposal occasioned much 
uneasiness among the most prudent of the citizens in the state; 
and though public meetings were held denouncing the measure, 
it was, however, upon being submitted to the people, on the ap- 
pointed day of a special election, April 15, 1858. carried by a 
large ma.jority, there being 25,023 in favor to 6,733 against the 
amendment. The measure afterward became known as the Five 
Jlilljon Loan Bill. The state bonds were of $1,000 denomination, 
had twenty-five years to run with interest at seven per cent, the 
railroad companies to pay the interest, and were to be delivered 
to the incorporators of the companies when ten miles of the road 
was graded and ready for the superstructure. Owing to techni- 
calities it was extremely difficult to market these bonds. Times 
were luird jind tlie companies were unable to pay the required 

On the ;isseiul)liii<,' of llie le-i-islatun^ in 18(i0 the inlerest on 
the state ])onds liaviiig l)een defaulted, an amendment to the con- 
stitution was ad<)])ted and submitted to tlie people expunging the 
section sanctioned and approved by them. April 15. 1858. reserv- 
ing only the state's rights. The electors of the state at the general 
election of Novemlx'i- G, 18(i0. with unanimity, by a vote of 27.023 
1(1 733, ;i|i])i-(ive(l of llie jiuiendineiit. For Iwo years tliereafter 
i-aiii'iiad mnllei's in the slate laid dormant. 



The Minneapolis & Cedar Valley Railroad Company was cIimi- 
tered Marcli 1, 1856. with a capital stock of $3,()()0,()00 to construct 
a railroad from Minneapolis to a point of junction with the Root 
River Valley & Southern Minnesota Railroad in Dakota county, 
from one to six miles from IMendota, and thence in a southerly 
direction via Faribault, through the valley of the Straight river, 
to the southern boundary line of the territory at the Cedar river. 
They were also to have the right to build at any time a line from 
the Mendota Junction to St. Paul; also a like road to Hastings. 
After the passage of the amendment to the constitution in 1858 
a mortgage was executed and bonds issued and deposited with 
the state, for which the company received .$600,000, state bonds. 
The company defaulted in the payments. September 1, 1859, the 
foreclosure was demanded. The trustees advertised and sold the 
property August 16, 1860, and bid it in for the state. The prop- 
erty, franchise, etc., were conferred March 10, 1862, upon the 
Minneapolis. Faribault & Cedar Valley Railroad Company. Quite 
an amount of grading had been done, but no track liad been laid. 

The Minneapolis, Faribault & Cedar Valley Railroad Company 
was incorporated by the legislature of Minnesota March 10, 1862. 
Under this name the state transferred to Alexander James, Syl- 
vester Smith, William H. Dike, Charles A. Wheaton, Franklin 
Steele, Henry Chapin, Thomas A. Harrington, Eli B. Ames, John 
]\r. Oilman, William Gr. LeDuc and Rufus J. Baldwin all the prop- 
erty, franchises, etc., of the Minneapolis & Cedar Valley Company 
acquired by foreclosure August 16, 1860, and authorized a re- 
organization under the original charter. The same rights had 
been conferred upon Erastus Corning and associates in ]\Iarch. 
1861, and upon N. D. Barney et al. in March, 1863, but they failed 
to comply with the conditions and forfeited them. By an act 
of the legislature which was approved February 1, 1864, the name 
was changed to the Minnesota Central Railway Company. 

The Minnesota Central Railway Company was named in ar. 
act of the legislature, approved February 1, 1864, to take over the 
franchise and rights of the Minneapolis, Faribault & Cedar Valley 
Railroad Company. Acts Avere passed at different times extend- 
ing the time of completion of the road, also an act authorizing the 
connection with the Iowa road at the state line. The road was 
completed from ^linneapolis via ^lendota to Owatonna, a distancr 
of seventy-one miles, in 1866, and the branch was built from ]\Ien- 
dota to St. Paul. September 18, 1866, tlie capital stock of tlie 
road Avas sold to the ^McGregor & Western Railroad Company for 
.$2,000,000, payable in a like amount of the latter company's 


stock. All the property except the land grant lands was con- 
veyed June 26, 1867. This sale was practically a consolidation. 
The corporate existence of the company was continued by virtue 
of its land stock, and no interest in its lands ever passed to the 
McGregor & Western Company or its successors. The company 
was required by the land grant to build from Austin to the state 
line, but had not done so when it was transferred to the McGregor 
company. The ^Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company (which 
later on, February 7, 1874, became the Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul), after acquiring the line of the consolidated company, 
August 5, 1867, reconveyed to the Minnesota Central Company in 
April, 1868, that part of the line between Austin and Mona, a dis- 
tance of eleven miles, to enable it to earn the land grant. 

As before stated, the first regular passenger train reached Le 
Roy from Cresco September 9, 1867. This was an important day 
for Mower county, and on that day, for the first time, the county 
had connection by rail with the Atlantic seaboard. In October, 
1867, the line was completed from Owatonna to Austin, and for 
a short time the lines ending at Austin and Le Roy were con- 
Qected by the stage route of Nichols & Cotter. Later in the month 
the line was completed from Austin to Le Roy. In the same 
month a through freight car passed through Austin from New 
.York to Minneapolis, thus bridging by rail the distance from the 
Atlantic ocean to the head of Mississippi navigation. 

Work was also pushed to the southward from Austin to the 
state line, and trains started running in January, 1870. April, 
1870, the Milwaukee & St. Paul road took a deed to the line from 
Austin to Mona, paying 1,760 shares of common stock and a like 
amount of preferred stock. In January, 1870, the Illinois Central 
started running its trains from the state line south in Iowa. 

November 3, 1870, the portion of the Iowa Central from the 
Minnesota state line to Mason City, now owned by the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul, was completed, and cars were put in oper- 
ation. In December, 1871, the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & i\Iin- 
nesota Railway tapped this line at Plymouth, in Cerro Gordo 
county, Iowa, and leased a right of way to Austin, thus practic- 
ally extending its line to Mower county. A year later th6 Central 
Railway of Iowa began running trains from Austin to St. Louis 
over the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and TMinnesota, via the Iowa 

The McGregor and Western Railway Company was organized 
January 19, 1863, and was authorized to construct a road from or 
from near McGregor, westward and northwestward in Iowa. 
Later the charter was modified, allowing the company to con- 
struct a line from the state line to Austin, in ]\Iinnesota. In 1866 
the company purchased the I\linnesota Central Railway Company, 


and gave in return $2,000,000 of its bonds. Tlie McGregor com- 
pany was authorized March 7, 1867, by the Minnesota legislature, 
to construct a road via Austin, to Owatonna, and to exercise the 
franchise of the IMinnesota Central Railway Company. Articles 
of incorporation Avere filed in Minnesota June 8, 1867, and later 
in the month a deed was taken of the IMinnesota Central Com- 
pany, then built from Minneapolis to Owatonna. The line was 
immediately transferred to the Milwaukee & St. Paul Company, 
which February 7, 1874, became the Chicago, INIilwaukee & St. 
Paul. The building of the McGregor line is recorded elsewhere 
in this chapter. 

The Root River Valley & Southern Minnesota Railroad Avas 
chartered by the territory of Minnesota March 2, 185.3. The act 
to incorporate was passed on the above date by the territorial 
legislature, and amended February 27, 1857. The charter granted 
the privilege of covering almost everything in the southern end of 
the state, provided the eastern terminus remained at Hokah, viz. : 
"from the village of Hokah, in the county of Houston, and terri- 
tory of Minnesota, westward by the most feasible and practicable 
route to some point between the south line of the territory and 
the point where the township line between 110 and 111 crosses 
the Minnesota river, thence west by the most direct and practi- 
cable route to the great bend of the Missouri river, with the priv- 
ilege of a branch starting from Hokah and running to the west 
bank of the Mississippi, via Target Lake to Eagle Bluff in AVinona 
county. Also the privilege of building a branch from some point 
on the main line east of range 12, west of the fifth principal 
meridian, and Avestward through the counties of MoAver, Free- 
born and Faribault, to the Avest line of the territory; also the 
privilege of constructing a ship canal from the main channel of 
the Mississippi river to Target Lake." May 22, 1857, the terri- 
tory of the road was extended, and all the land grants applicable 
to its route duly conferred. This was one of the original land 
grant roads bought in by the state of Minnesota, Avhich later re- 
issued its charter and loaned the credit of the state. 

The Southern Minnesota Railroad Company Avas the name 
taken by the Root River Valley and Southern ^ilinnesota Railroad, 
]May 23, 1857, the day after the land grant Avas conferred. The 
company executed a mortgage, issued bonds and deposited them 
Avith the state, receiving therefor $575,000 in state bonds. The 
company defaulted on the payments April 1, 1860, and the gov- 
ernor advertised and sold the property and conveyed the sani'i to 
the state. The state conferred the property, etc., on divers o.jca- 
sions to various parties during the years 1861 and 1863, but tliey 
failed to comply Avith the conditions. The rights pertaining to 
the line througii the southern tier of counties Avere conferred upon 


T. B. Stoddard and associates March 4, 1864, under the name of 
the Southern J\Iinnesota Railroad Company, thus reviving the old 
title. The company received aid from various municipalities. The 
road was completed to Rushford in 1867 ; to Lanesboro in 1868 ; 
from Ramsey to Wells in 1869 ; Lanesboro to Ramsey and from 
Wells to W^innebago in 1870, making a total of 1671/2 miles. After 
various litigation the Southern Minnesota Railway Company was 
organized under chapter 50 of the laws of 1876. 

The Southern Minnesota Railway Company was organized 
I\Iareh 8. 1877. Tlie Southern Minnesnfa Railway Extension Com- 
pany was also organized. January 1, 1880, the Southern Minne- 
sota, after receiving a deed from the Extension company, deeded 
its road from the Mississippi river to Sioux Falls, and the branch 
from Wells and Mankato, to the Milwaukee & St. Paul Compauy, 
the latter issuing bonds and taking possession of the road INIay 1, 

The year 1887 was an eventful one for Austin. The C, M. & 
St. Paul moved its shops here from "Wells, and also built a '"Y" 
from Ramsey so that the trains on the old Southern Minnesota 
line ran into Austin, thus doing away with the old stage coach 
that liad hitherto done duty between Austin and Ramsey. As a 
bonus for locating the shops here Austin gave $10,000 and ten 
acres of land. 


The Chicago Great Western Railroad Company, operating 
what is known as the Corn Belt Route, in 1910 succeeded the Chi- 
cago Great Western Railway Company, which operated what v.-as 
then known as the Maple Leaf Route. The latter company was 
organized in Illinois January 5, 1892, to effect the reorganization 
of tlie Chicago, St. Paul and Kansas City Railway Company, which 
was an Iowa corporation and had absorbed the ]\Iiunesota and 
Northwestern. The early construction of the route in ^Minnesota 
was commenced in 1884 and completed in the summer of 1885, 
when one hundred and ten miles were built from Minneapolis to 
the Iowa state line, passing through Mower county, touching 
points that are now Waltham, Mayville, Austin, Varco and Lyle, 
and connecting at the latter place with the Illinois Central. The 
station at Austin Avas opened July 24, 1885, with 0. B. Johnson as 
first agent. A grand excursion to St. Paul took place August 20, 
1885. In the fall of the same year a junction was made with the 
Iowa (Central Railroad at Manley Junction, Iowa. In 1887 the line 
from Ilaytield to Dubiuiue, Iowa, passing through INIower county 
and luiving stations at points that ai'c now Sargeant. Renova. Elk- 
ton and Taopi. was completed, as was the line from Chicago to 


South Freeport, Illinois. The next year the missing link between 
Dubuque and South Freeport was completed, thus completing the 
line from ]Minneapolis and St. Paul to Chicago. On August 1, 
1887, the first passenger train made the run between Chicago and 
St. Paul in thirteen and one-half hours. This was the inaugura- 
tion of the' fast passenger train service in the West. Under an 
agreement with the Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pacific Railway- 
Company, the Chicago Great Western operates their lines of 271 
miles from Mankato to Red Wing and another from Red Wing 
to Osage, Iowa, with branches from Winona to Simpson and from 
Claybank Junction to Claybank. The line from Red Wing to 
Osage crosses the extreme eastern portion of Mower county, pass- 
ing into Fillmore county and then curving back into Mower coun- 
ty. In this county it has stations at Racine and LeRoy. The Wis- 
consin, Minnesota & Pacific Raihvay Company is a reorganization 
of one of the early ^Minnesota companies and was incorporated 
in Minnesota in April, 3894. This line was started in 1890, the 
company at that time being the Winona & Southwestern. 


The Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad, which is operated by the 
Illinois Central Railroad Company is a reorganized company hold- 
ing its franchises by charter granted by the state of lovs-a, with 
the exception of the Albert Lea & Southern Railroad Company, in- 
corporated September 20, 1899, under the general laws of Minne- 
sota. This road, which extended from the Iowa state line to 
Gleuville Junction, thus crossing IMower county from Lyle west- 
ward, was consolidated with the Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad 
Company, July 1, 1902. 

Aside from the roads mentioned scores more have at various 
times been projected, in which Austin people have been inter- 
ested. But they have not yet reached IMower county, though even 
to the present day there is talk of another road being put through. 




Importance of the Farming Interests of Mower County — Char- 
acter of the Men Who First Came Here — Failure of Wheat 
Crop — Development of Diversified Farming — Advantages — 
Mail and Trading Facilities — Nature of the Soil — Sheep and 
Poultry Breeding — The Pork Industry — Registered Stock 
Predominant— Homes of the Farmers — Agricultural Societies 
—Grange Movement — Storm and Flood — Insurance Companies. 

Mower county is acknowlodg't'd as being among the best and 
most prosperous agricultural and stock raising counties in Minne- 
sota. Its people are wide awake and keep step with the pro- 
gressive march of the times in all that pertains to a civilization of 
happiness, industry and culture. Like all this portion of the 
Northwest, the agricultural history of Mower county must record 
some disastrous failures. The whole southern and soutliAvestern 
portions of Minnesota, as well as the greater part of Iowa, have 
had serious disadvantages to contend with and obstacles to en- 
counter. The first settlers of the county were mostly farmers, 
and they were, with but few exceptions, poor men, as is the case 
in the history of every agricultural region. In fact, few had more 
than enough to barely get settled upon their lands ; but they 
came with that which was in those days equal to it — training in 
agricultural pursuits, brawny hands that Avere able and not 
ashamed to work, and, in connection with industrious habits, the 
energy and determination to win success. The country Avas new, 
and there was no alternative but that success must be wrought 
from the soil, which was their only wealth and their only hope. 
And, in spite of all the obstacles and inconveniences, notwith- 
standing the fact that the whole aim of the farming community 
has changed, success has attended their efforts. Nor is the end 
yet reached, but the county has a mine of wealth yet undeveloped, 
which, as years roll on, will grow more and more valuable as the 
agricultural population become more and more able to utilize it. 

Early in the development of this country wheat Avas the main 
product, and for a juunber of years excellent crops were raised 
with scarcely a failure. At the present time wheat has given up 
its former place to other cereals, and farmers find many other 
avenues in which- to devote their time and energy. 

Mower cotuiIv is in tlic most southern tier of the counties of 
Minnesota. Its soiillicni boundary forms a portion of the state 


line between the great wheat state of Minnesota and the great 
corn state of Iowa. It lies in the grain belt and also in the corn 
belt. It is also the center of the great dairy belt. 

Mower county occupies with but few exceptions, all of which 
are in northern Minnesota, the highest land in the Mississippi 
valley. The mean elevation above the sea is 1,300 feet, the highest 
point being in the central and southern portion where the eleva- 
tion rises to 1,360 feet. The lowest elevation of the county is 
1,119 feet, which is 600 feet higher than the Union station at St. 
Paul. Owing to the gradual rise toward the center, Mower county 
has perfect drainage, it being one of the few counties of the state 
without a lake or large pond. Numerous small streams flow 
through the county, which is blessed with an abimdance of good 
Avater. Beside the creeks and rivulets, there are innumerable flow- 
ing springs, gushing from the earth, many flowing 300,000 gallons 
a day and some to exceed a million gallons in twenty-four hours. 

The high altitude gives to Mower county an ideal climate. Its 
mean temperatiire for summer is 70 degrees, the same as middle 
Illinois, Ohio and southern Pennsylvania. The extreme heat that 
is felt in these states is here tempered by the breezes of the ele- 
vated plateau. Its higher latitude gives two hours more of sun- 
shine than at Cincinnati. This with an abundance of rainfall, 
26.36 inches annually, on a rich soil, accounts for the rapid and 
vigorous growth of crops and their early maturity. There is a 
uniformity of temperature during the winter season in southern 
Minnesota, with bright sunshine, dry atmosphere, good sleighing 
and infrequent thaws that make life a pleasure in this bracing, 
healthy climate. 

The soil is for the most part a deep, rich, warm loam with clay 
subsoil. There is but little gumbo soil in this county. Cultivation 
is easy and "irrigation and dry farming" that one hears so much 
about to-day, and which is so necessary to secure a crop on much 
of the new lands that are being opened up in the West, at so great 
an expense, are not needed here. During the past few years a 
number of farms have been tiled and with such marked success 
that within a few years most of the farms will be improved in 
this respect. The lay of the land is such that almost every farmer 
gets good drainage without difficulty. Two large factories, one 
manufacturing a cement tile and the other a clay tile, are located 
at Austin and have a tremendous total output. 

Mower county ha.s good roads and in several road districts its 
roads are as fine as a city's street, thanks to the efficient work 
of townships good road organizations and to the use of the King 
split-log drag. 

Mower county Avas the first county in the United States to 
have a coiiiiilcte i-ni-al mail route system installed. Tliis was done 


in 1904, and there is hardly a farm in the county that is above 
half a mile from a rural route. The entire population, aside from 
the county seat and the villages with postofifices, is served by this 
excellent system. Each route serA^es llO^families or an average 
of 600 people, and each route has an average length of twenty- 
seven miles. Mower county's rural routes center as follows: Aus- 
tin, BroAvnsdale, Dexter, Grand Meadow, Taopi, Rose Creek, 
Adams, Le Roy, Lyle, Racine, Elkton. Waltham, Sargeant. 

Mower county's farms are all within easy access of a market, 
there not being a farm above seven miles from a village and not 
above a score are a greater distance from a village than six miles. 

]\Iower county is a great corn country, raising over a million 
and a half bushels yearly. Mower county is one of the big barley 
counties of the country, raising a million bushels yearly. Mower 
county's oat crop exceeds 4,000,000 bushels yearly. Mower 
county's other big crops are wheat. 200,000 bushels, and potatoes, 
400,000 bushels. Mower county also raises the finest of hay on its 
73,753 acres of meadow. Mower county is annually sliipping thou- 
sands of dollars' worth of apples from its 100,000 apple trees. 
Mower county's phmis, picked from 20,000 trees, are of excellent 
({uality and find a ready market. Mower county has two large 
nurseries, selling home-grown fruit, ornamental and shade trees, 
guaranteed to be true to name and to grow. Mower county has 
two farmers' mutual insurance companies, the Mower County 
Farmers' Mutual Fire and Lightning Company, carrying $5,250.- 
000 of insurance, and the Austin Mutual Hail Insurance Company 
of Minnesota, insuring crops from loss by hail all over the state. 
Mower county has a splendid system of bridge building, a ma- 
jority of the bridges being of iron and concrete. It is the policy 
of the county board to replace old bridges with those of iron and 
concrete. Mower county's all-grain farmers have been moving to 
the unbroken prairies, leaving their farms here to be taken by 
progressive diversified farmers of the older states. Mower county 
is one of the great thoroughbred cattle counties of the state. 
]\Iower county farmers find a ready market for their hogs with 
the Hormel Packing Company, located at Austin, which has a 
daily capacity of turning 5,000 milk-fed hogs into the famous 
Dairy Brand hams and bacon. iMower county farmers find a ready 
market for garden truck in the city of Austin and the villages 
of the county. 

The farms of Mower county are similar to the farms of any 
other county having a rich soil. It has its good farms and its 
poor farms. Or better stated, it has its good farmers and its 
poor farmers. Agriculture, like every other trade or profession, 
his its successes and its failures, but perhaps not as many com- 
plete failures. 


The first settlers found here a rich, unbroken virgin soil, a 
land that had had none but nature's care from time immemorial. 
Century after century, year after year, the grasses grew in all 
their richness and the prairie tiowers bloomed to waste their fra- 
grance on the summer air. No foot trod the unbroken stretches 
save that of wild beast or bird, or the red warrior. No plow- 
share turned the green sod, nor was it torn by the iron tooth of 
the harrow, from the time an almighty power had unrolled it like 
a carpet until 1852, when Jacob McQuillan and party drove to 
this land from Ohio in wagons and nailed their coffee mill to a 
tree in what is now Racine township. They turned the first sod 
and sowed "wheat," and wheat was the crop that the land of 
Mower county raised in abundance until 1878. Then came the 
wheat failure. For over a quarter of a century the land had let 
man take crop after crop of the finest cereal from her without 
putting anything back, and then it protested. Then the farmers 
tried the next year and the next and hardly got their seed back. 
Then those who could afford it went further north and west 
where there were other virgin lands. But some were too poor 
to go. Some of these turned their attention to other crops and a 
few to stock raising. But as late as 1884 Mower county had but 
four creameries. In that year came the discussion of diversified 
farming for ]\Iower county, but for several years but little was 
done along that line. Within the last few years the dairy farmer 
has come upon the scene. Some came from other states and have 
thriven and grown prosperous on the land which the wheat 
farmer thought was exhausted. The county has grown prosper- 
ous with this change of farming and during the last few years 
hundreds of up-to-date farmers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and 
Wisconsin have taken up their abode on Mower county farms. 
Here they find a rich soil from two to five feet deep, ready for 
them, a land covered with rich grasses and ready to yield abun- 
dance in oats, barley and other small grains, and producing corn 
that vies with that of the states above mentioned. Here they 
find land as rich and yielding as heavy crops as the $150 land 
they had left and selling at from $50 to $80 an acre, because the 
owners were ready to retire or desired to go to the land of a 
single crop, wheat. With their coming there is a great increase 
in tlie valuation of farm property, farm products and live stock. 

With the coming of these farmers from the older states has 
come farm tiling — open ditches have been used for years but 
hardly a rod of tile was laid by the all-grain farmers. Now there 
are thousands of rods being laid each year. 

There is at present a strong movement toward sugar beet ( ul- 
ture. It has been found that the warm, deep loam of Slower 
county permits of large development of root. Two large sugar 


beet factories, one at Waterloo, Iowa, and the otlier at Chaska. 
Minnesota, take all the crop raised. 

AYhile Mower county is not a sheep raising county, it is the 
breeding place of thoroughbreds which are in demand in Mon- 
tana, Wyoming and Idaho, to which places many find their way. 
Following are the leading breeds in Mower county: Merinos, 
Cotswold, Shropshire, Soutlulowns, Lincoln, Oxfords, Hampshires 
and Horned Dorsets. 

The poultry fanciers are the most numerous of all the thor- 
oughbred raisers. Space forbids mention of all the varieties of 
poultry that are to be found in this county. At a recent county 
fair 123 A'arieties Avere shown, of which 99 were of the hen, six 
of the turkey, eleven of the duck and seven of the geese family. 
Alfred Ziemer, of this city, has a Buft' Orpington cock valued at 
$1,000, the highest priced bird of the breed in the United States. 
The Mower County Poultry Association is the largest organiza- 
tion of its kind in the state, and its annual show is larger than 
any other except those held at St.^Paul and Minneapolis. Slower 
county birds in the last shows in the Twin Cities took more prizes 
than any other county in the state. 

There is one farmer in the county who claims that every do- 
mestic animal on his place, from the driving horse to the family 
cat, is thoroughbred and registered. 

I\IoA\er county has no state highways of macadam. Tlie roads, 
which are made of the soil of the county, on the whole are good, 
and some of them are kept in the best of condition. This county 
was one of the first in the state to undertake road building, and 
it is interesting to note that the first bill ordered paid by the 
first board of couny commissioners Avas a bill presented Jul\ 7. 
1856, by Louis Patchin, for work as road commissioner. 

There was a time iu ]\lower county when like all new lands, 
the first consideration Avas to build good barns for tlie housing of 
the liocks and lierds and the home Avas the most inconspicuous 
object in the landscape. As the farmers prospered the log house 
disappeared and now there are not a half dozen log hoiises in 
th>' entire county. Now the farmers' house vies Avith the city 
residence and has many of tlie modern conveniences. AVhere elec- 
tric light and poAver cannot be secured, gasoline engines furnish 
power and a number of farm houses are lighted by their OAvn gas 
plants. By the use of elevated tanks in the house or barn, or 
pneiunatic tanks in cellars, farm houses often have all the sani- 
tary conveniences of a house in tOAvn. Our farmers recognize 
the value of keeping their ])roperty in the best of shape. Houses 
and l)arns are Avell painted. laAvns are carefully kept and fioAver 
gardens sliow iliat our jx'ople recognize that the things Avhich 
beautify add a value to life as well as to property. 



Mower County Agricultural, Horticultural and Mechanics' 
Society. On the third of September, ]86;i, the l)oard of eounty 
commissioners, consisting of R. C. Heath, Alanson Beach and G. 
T. Angell published a call for the organizing of a society of the 
farmers of the eounty. Agreeable to this notice a number of 
prominent citizens of the county met at the postoffice in Austin 
September 22, 1863. The meeting was called to order by B. F. 
Jones, upon whose motion J. P. Jones, of Nevada township, was 
elected chairman. B. F. Jones was elected secretary. After some 
discussion Ormanzo Allen, Olivar Somers and Sylvester Smith 
were appointed a committee to draft a constitution for the gov- 
ernment of the soeiet}^ 

The following gentlemen were elected first officers of the so- 
ciety : President, Hon. Robert Lyle ; vice-presidents, John M. 
Morrell, Geo. N. Conkey and John M. Wyckoff from the first, 
second and third districts respectively; recording secretary, B. 
F. Jones ; corresponding secretary, Solomon Snow ; directors — 
Austin, V. P. Lewis; Lyle, S. R. Hughson; Windom, Alonzo Fair- 
banks; Red Rock, A. D. Brown; Udolpho, Charles Stimson; Ne- 
vada, J. P. Jones; Lansing, J. J. Rosenberg; Pleasant Valley, 
Robert Reed; Grand MeadoAV, Col. B. F. Langworthy; Racine, 
Addison Harris; Frankford, N. Goodsell; Bennington, Edwin 
Angell; Adams, Mathew Rooney: LeRoy, Daniel Caswell. This 
society held its first fair at the village of Lansing during the sec- 
ond week of October, 1864. It Avas an acknowledged success.. 

Mower County Agricultural Society. During the year 1868 
the project of organizing a second agricultural society was agi- 
tated. On July 31, 1868, a number of prominent citizens met at 
the brick school house in Austin. J. L. Davidson was chosen 
chairman, and Lyman A. Sherwood, secretary of the meeting. 
A committee was appointed, consisting of C. H. Davidson. Capt. 
A. S. Everest, G. G. Clemmer and Thomas Gibson, to draft a con- 
stitution and by-laws. 

Tlie following were the first officers elected: President, An- 
drew D. Brown ; secretary, E. C. Door ; treasurer, S. Snow ; vice- 
presidents, Sylvester Smith, Austin City; Abe S. Lott, Austin 
township ; Alanson Beach, Lyle ; Guitder Halverson, Nevada ; 
^latthew Rooney, Adams ; W. B. Spencer, LeRoy ; G. T. Angell, 
Bennington ; D. P. Putney, Frankford ; ^V. E. Harris. Racine -. B. 
F. Langworthy, Grand Meadow ; Richard Iloppin, Pleasant Val- 
ley: James H. Stewart, Red Rock; A. B. Vaughan. Lansing; 
Thomas Richardson, Udolpho ; A. P. Lounsberry, AValtham ; John 
Tiiompson. AVindom. Executive committee — V. P. Lewis, chair- 
man: AV. L. Austin, Austin; Thomas Gibson, Lansing; Orlando 


Wilder, Lyle : Alanson Wright, Windom ; J. J\I. Wyckoff, LeRoy ; 
Harvey Anderson, Red Rock ; D. Chandler, Austin ; J. W. Gregg, 
Nevada; H. M. Irgens, Adams; Capt. J. S. McKnight, Benning- 
ton; Chas. Lamb, Frankford; Jonathan Stewart, Racine; 0. W. 
Case, Grand Meadow; Ben. Carll, Udolpho; H. Edward, Wal- 

This society held its first fair on October 14 and 15, 1S68. 

The present society was organized at the meeting of the 
Grange council, held October 1, 1874, when it was found that the 
farming class was anxious to organize an agricultm-al society, 
such as existed in many other counties. After the usual pre- 
liminaries, the farmers proceeded to organize a society by elect- 
ing officers both from within and without the Grange. The society 
was to be called the Mower County Agricultural Society, and its 
object was the promotion of agriculture, horticulture and the 
mechanical arts. G. W. Grimshaw was elected president ; C. J. 
Felch, vice president; Miles M. Trowbridge, secretary; H. F. 
Deming, treasurer. The executive committee consisted of nine 
members: S. Y. Paddock, M. C. Potter, Merril Mason, N. H. 
Thompson, William Rutherford, H. Knudson, E. I. Stimson, J. F. 
Cook and W. L. Austin. The society was incorporated March 31, 
1875. The annual county fair is now held at Austin, and the live 
stock exhibit at the fairs exceeds that of any county fair in the 

The Mower County Poultry Association is one of the strong- 
est organizations of this nature iu the state, and there is nut a 
more enthusiastic class of breeders tJiau the men who form this 
association. The association holds an annual poultry show which 
is largely attended. A. W. Edson is president of tlie association 
and Alf. A. Ziemer is secretary. 


In 1877 Mower county farmers reaped the last of the liig 
wheat crops, which for twenty years had made this the land of 
Eldorado of the settler from the East. The history of this county 
from the year of the wheat failure in 1878 to the present time is 
of unusual interest. To give the reader an idea of the time of 
the failure, we quote the diary of one of the early settlers. ' ' Au- 
gust 19, 1877. To-day I threshed forty acres of wheat, got 1,156 
bushels, which went sixty-two pounds to the bushel." August 26, 
1878. It has rained almost every day, mud everywhere; have 
tried to cradle a little wheat for seed, and have saved but little. 
Am very blue." 

"Am very liliic" is tli(> e]iitoine of the history of almost every 
farmer of that section, for not only 1878 but for the next five 


years. During these years the farmers tried time and time again 
to raise wheat as they had for a quarter of a century previous, 
and each year saw the debt against the farmer growing larger 
and larger. Many who could do so left the county and went west 
to the Dakotas. But from the year of the big wheat failure dates 
the real growth of the county. In the failure of the wheat the 
farmer was driven to adopt other methods of agriculture, and 
diversified farming took the place of the one-crop system. The 
adoption of the new plan was necessarily slow. To the farmer 
who had in 1876 purchased 160 acres and paid for it with his 
wheat crop in 1877 diversified farming seemed a long and hard 
road to the material prosperity of the individual. But there were 
men who in their younger days were raised in this school and 
who were quick to see what could be done with the rich early- 
worked soil, and they became the pioneers of the movement. To- 
day they are the rich and prosperous farmers of the county. 
Thirty years ago the county from boundary to boundary line was 
one great sea of golden wheat. To-day its surface is like a great 
mosaic of corn, barley, oats, clover, timothy, and pasture bh;e 
grass. Herds of pure-bred Shorthorn, Holstein, Jersey, Gallo- 
ways, Aberdeen- Angus, Hereford, Red Polled, Guernseys, and Ayr- 
shires may be found in all parts of our county, and thousands of 
pure-bred sheep of Merino, Cotswold, Shi'opshire, Southdown, Lin- 
coln, Oxford, Hampshire, and Horned Dorset breeds may be found 
there. The following breeds of horses are raised in the county: 
Norman, Persian, Clydesdale, French draft and English shires, 
besides a high grade of coach, draft and trotting horses. Hog 
raising is a feature of every farm, and the following breeds are 
found : Berkshire, Poland-China, Chester White, Duroc-Jersey, 
Sutfolk, improved Yorkshires, and small Yorkshires. At the 
annual fairs of the Mower County Agricultural Society all the 
above breeds are shown in registered animals. The livestock 
exhibit is one of the greatest attractions of the fair, and is yearly 
growing larger. It is not the intention of the writer to mention 
the individual efforts that have brought about the present pros- 
perity and demonstrated the value of diversified farming. Their 
work speaks for itself. But we are glad to say that many of 
those pioneers of diversified farming in Minnesota yet live to 
see their plans come to fruition and to see those who laughed at 
them when they entered upon the breeding and raising of regis- 
tered stock here adopt a similar method in order to keep up with 
the progress of the age. But the farmer of thirty years ago did 
not realize these advantages, and if he did, the single crop method 
was the most advantageous up to the year 1878. Mower county, 
lying on the boundary line of Iowa, lies witliin the corn belt aiul 
at the same time is within tin' small ^-I'aiii belt. Coi'n of as iine 


a growth as that of Iowa is raised in great quantities to fatten 
the droves of hogs to be found on every farm. At Austin, the 
county seat, is a packing house with a capacity of 2,000 a day, 
where the highest market price is paid, and which is within easy 
reach of the farmer with hogs to sell. Oats and barley are the 
other big crops raised in the county, and there are fourteen 
trading points besides the city of Austin at which the farmer 
can dispose of his produce. Reaching from Austin are two tele- 
phone systems that ramify every corner of the county and reach 
over 1,100 farm houses, besides the 950 homes within the city. 
Mower county Avas the first county of Minnesota to have in- 
stalled a complete rural mail route. Three lines of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul, three lines of the Chicago Great Western, 
and one of the Illinois Central traverse the county so that bi;t 
little land lies as far as ten miles from railroad facilities. These 
are the changes of a quarter of a century of diversified farming 
not fully perfected. But Mower county is yet to be known along 
another line — that of apple raising. It has been sufficiently 
proven that apples can be raised on her soil. For instance, F. W. 
Kimball, of Austin, in 1907 shipped his apples to Illinois and 
netted from his two and a half acres of orchard over $700, after 
paying $148 for barrels, besides the expense of picking and pack- 
ing. Within the past few years more and more apple trees have 
been planted by the farmers of the county, and this industry will 
count among the valuable assets when some future writer twenty- 
five years hence shall speak of the remarkable prosperity and 
growth of one of the richest and most representative agricultural 
counties of the Northwest. 

(By C. L. Rice.) 

Tlie Grange movement in Mower county has been an important 
one, and although but two of the original societies remain within 
the county at the present time, the movement accomplished its 
purpose in the bettering of farm conditions and the dignifying of 
the agricultural interests of the county. In 1873 and 1875 the 
Grangers elected E. II. Wells, of Lansing, to the Minnesota senate, 
on a Farmers' Alliance ticket, and in several campaigns took an 
active part in the Anti-Monopolist movement in politics. In addi- 
tion to this the prices paid by farmers for commodities were low- 
ered by the establishment of Grange stores at various places, and 
in fact it may trutlifully be said that the Grange in this county 
Avas the forerunner of the general idea of farmers' co-operation 
which has resulted in creameries and stores on the community 


plan. It also fathered the Mower County Agricultural Society, 
which has held successful fairs at Austin for so many years. 

On March 18, 1873, and in the few months following, nineteen 
granges were started in this county. They were : Hope Grange, 
Andrew Peters, master ; Pleasant View Grange, George Elliot ; 
Brownsdale Grange, H. E. Tanner; Rose Creek Grange, D. S. B. 
Mollison ; Lyle Grange, R. B. Foster ; Union Grange, D. Austin ; 
Enterprise Grange, No. 181, J. C. Hawkins; Frankford Grange, 
G. Tryer ; Prairie Grange, B. F. Langworthy ; Cedar River Grange, 
M. Teeter; Nevada Grange, G. Halverson; Hamilton Grange, 
E. W. Elder; Cedar Valley Grange, W. J. Merrick; Riverdale 
Grange, M. M. Trowbridge ; Woodlawn Grange, A. K. Vander- 
walker ; Lansing Grange, L. Hawley ; Nevada Union Grange, Sher- 
man Clow. These Granges were very progressive and did a great 
deal of good for the interests of agriculture, horticulture and 
animal industry. Many advantages were also received in a social 
way, as the farming people became better acquainted with each 

June 30, 1873, a County Grange was organized at the Baptist 
church in Brownsdale. This was designated the Mower County 
Council. The meeting was called to order by F. A. Elder, the 
deputy. B. F. Langworthy was elected chairman and George C. 
Weed secretary of the temporary organization. Twelve Granges 
were represented, seventy-five delegates being present. The fol- 
lowing officers of the council were elected to serve for one year: 
Master, J. S. Bowers ; overseer, L. E. Pearco ; secretary, George 

C. "Weed ; chaplain, George' Elliot ; steward, De Los Tanner ; lec- 
turer, F. A. Elder ; assistant steward, S. R. Pearco ; gate keeper, 

D. D. Pratt ; treasurer, G. AV. Grimshaw ; Ceres, Mrs. B. F. Lang- 
worthy ; Flora, Mrs. Bettie Peters ; Pomona, Mrs. L. E. Pearco ; 
lady assistant steward, Mrs. A. J. Hunt. 

At the meeting of the council held October 1, 1874, it was 
found that the farming class was anxious to organize an agricul- 
tural society, such as existed in many other counties. After the 
usual preliminaries, the farmers proceeded to organize a society 
by electing officers both from within and without the Grange. 
The society was to be called the Mower County Agricultural So- 
ciety and its object was the promotion of agriculture, horticul- 
ture and the mechanical arts. G. AV. Grimshaw was elected presi- 
dent ; C. J. Felch, vice president ; Allies AI. Trowbridge, secretary ; 
H. F. Deming, treasurer. The executive committee consisted of 
nine members : S. Y. Paddock, Ar. C. Potter, Alerril Alason, N. H. 
Thompson, AVilliam Rutherford, H. Knndson, E. J. Stimson, J. F. 
Cook and AV. L. Austin. 

The Agricultural Society continued to live, l)ut after a while 
the interest in the Grange movement died out. On April 2, 1910, 


after many years of inactivity, Enterprise Grange, No. 181, was 
reorganized as No. 604 by C. B. Hoyt at the Enterprise school- 
house. The following officers were elected : Master, C. L. Rice : 
overseer, C. B. Sayles ; lecturer, Mrs. C. B. Sayles ; steward, E. V. 
Hart ; assistant steward, Arthur Loucks ; chaplain, Mrs. C. L. Rice ; 
secretary, F. G. Page; treasurer, H. R. Mills; gate keeper. Con. 
Downey ; Flora, Rosabel Pike ; Pomona, Mrs. F. G. Page ; Ceres, 
Mrs. E. B. Loucks ; lady assistant steward, Ruth Eraser; organist, 
Mrs. F. G. Page. The officers were installed by C. B. Hoyt and 
the members were obligated. At that time Enterprise Grange had 
a membership of 103. It is now the banner grange of the state. 
This and Lansing Grange, No. 605, Arthur Parkins, master, are 
the only ones now in existence in the county. 

The grange is considered of great benefit to all patrons of 
husbandry, agriculturally, educationally, and a great help in co- 
operative buying in large quantities, greatly to the benefit of the 
consumer. Educationally and socially it is a great benefit to any 
community. It was the cause of getting rural free delivery, and 
long defunct Granges are now rapidly springing into new life on 
every side. It is surely a great organization to get the producer 
and consumer together, thus avoiding too many middlemen's 
profits. It is also against the big combination and trusts. It has 
subordinate county, state and national Granges which are doing 
a splendid work. 


The month of June, 1908, brought to Mower county a series 
of severe storms that culminated on the afternoon of Saturday, 
June 20, with the most disastrous one that has ever swept the 
county vdthin the memory of man. The loss to buildings and to 
crops was estimated at the time to be about $750,000, and this 
was followed on June 22 by a flood at the city that did damage 
to the amount of many thousands of dollars. 

For several days there had been an unusual degree of 
humidity. On Thursday, June 18, there were cyclonic conditions. 
That evening a brilliant electrical storm swept the entire county 
and several buildings were destroyed by lightning. At 9:30 p. m. 
a tornado struck the village of Adams, doing damage to the 
amount of $2,500. The path of the tornado was four rods wide 
and e."xtended a quarter of a mile. There were small twisters in 
Dexter and Sargeant townships. The lightning caused a $10,000 
fire at Sargeant village. The bolt set fire to the ]\Iartin Stephen- 
son grain elevator which liurned to the ground. The fire extended 
to the coal sheds, to the Chicago Great Western depot and a 
freight car was there totally destroyed. Lightning also struck 


the steeple of the German Lutheran church in the Seebach dis- 
trict in Dexter, practically destroying it. Several barns were 
destroyed by fire, caused by lightning, and much live stock was 

On the succeeding night, Friday, June 19, another wonder- 
fully brilliant electrical storm SAvept the county, killing inuch 
live stock and burning several barns. 

Saturday, June 20, came with an increase of the cyclonic con- 
ditions. The morning was warm and the air was filled with 
moisture. As the day wore on the sultriness increased. Soon 
after noon the storm, clouds again appeared. By 3:15 it was so 
dark that lamps were lighted in stores and workshops. Just 
i)erore i o'clock a deep black cloud came up from the southwest 
Avith an advance line of foaming whitish cloud that reminded om- 
of the surf beating against the shore. Just behind this lighter 
cloud appeared the sign of the approaching tornado — a copper 
colored band. The storm cloud caused intense fear and hun- 
dreds sought shelter in cellars. The tornado marked cloud 
veered to the west of the city, but the black cloud that followed 
passed directly over Austin. A few drops of rain, followed by 
hail varying from the size of a pea to the size of a walnut, fell. 
"With the hail came a wind storm which lasted forty minutes. 
The course of the wind in that short space of time changed from 
the southwest to the north. Houses were racked to the founda- 
tion and many Avere unroofed. Barns and sheds Avere bloAvn 
doAA'n, trees that had AA-eathered the elements for half a century 
were torn out by the roots and rolled about as playthings of the 
storm king. The electric current Avas turned off from the station, 
for hundreds of electric light, telephone and telegraph Avires were 
strcAvn about the streets. Hardly a street was passable and the 
fire department, street department and half a hundred men AA'erc 
put to work as soon as the storm abated to cut a direct Avay 
along the streets of the city. At Evergreen Farm a thousand 
evergreen trees were destroyed. Great damage Avas done at 
beautiful OakAvood cemetery. Some of the heaviest losers bj"^ the 
storm in Austin Avere : The Hormel Packing Company, Avhich 
had fine l)uildings partly unroofed, thousands of doUars Avorth 
of sugar and saltpeter spoiled by tlie rain, Avhich also ruined a 
large amount of printed labels. Loss about $15,000. At the 
county fair grounds the grand stand, fine art building, ladies' 
building, poultry exhibit hall, besides many of the sheds and 
barns, Avere destroyed. The loss there was about $10,000. The 
round liouse and machine shops of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul road Avere damaged about $8,000. A. N. Kinsman's green 
houses Avere riddled Avith hail and tlic aaIiuI tAvisted the frames. 
His loss Avas estimated at $5,000. 'I'hc two tdeplione systems 


were damaged $5,000 each. "Wind and rain damaged the Grand 
hotel about $2,000. Some of the other heavy losses by the storm 
were Austin Cement Stone Company, building damaged $3,000; 
Austin Steam Laundry, $2,000; George Hirsh, $1,500; Donovan 
& Goslee, $2,000; S. M. Normal College, $1,000; Franklin school 
Iniilding, $1,000; Gripman Bros., $1,000. Twenty-two other 
buildings, damaged $200 to $1,000. Besides this almost every 
building in the city was damaged to some extent. Lightning 
struck the steeple of St. Augustine's church and tore out a rock 
of brown stone Aveighing 300 pounds. 

The loss in the country to buildings and crops ran into hun- 
dreds of thousands of dollars. A tornado swept across the town- 
ship of Udolpho, cutting a path two to three rods wide and 
extending to Waltham township. Along this line the wind and 
hail destroyed every blade of the growiag crops. The damage 
at Lansing was light, most of it occurring near the Austin line. 
The storm at Dexter made the fields look as if they had been 
plowed. At Grand Meadow the hail storm v.'as so severe that 
scarcely a pane of glass was left in the windows on the north 
side of any iiouse in the township or village. Racine escaped 
Avith little rain and hail. In Waltham and Sargeant the storm 
did damage estimated at $30,000. In Adams village 600 panes of 
glass were broken by the hail. This township suffered severely 
in loss of crops, windmills and barns. Lodi suffered heavily from 
liail. In some parts of the county the hail congealed into jagged 
chunks of ice as big as a man's fist and hogs and horses were 
killed in the fields. Trees were stripped of every vestige of 
bark. There seems to have been several tornadoes connected 
Avith the storm, for the ruins left in Avidely separated toAvnships 
shoAved the marks of tlie tAvister. 


On Sunday everybody was out viewing the ruins of the Avind 
storm. There was no thought of more damage to come. Monday 
morning found the Cedar river rapidly rising and before the 
day ended the Avaters had taken out the iron bridge which 
spanned the Cedar on Bridge street, swept through the Kinsman 
greenhouses, doing thousands of dollars Avorth of damage. They 
fiooded the electric light station, shutting doAvn the poAver and 
leaving the city in darkness. The Austin gas plant Avas sub- 
merged and damaged $2,000. The plant of the Austin Weed 
Externiinator Company Avas under water and damaged about 
$1,000. The Avater Avas so high a couple of men rowed a boat 
into Brown's barber shop Avhich was then located in the basement 
of the George Hirsh block. There was no way to drive across the 


Cedar river as all the bridges were submerged excepting the 
Chicago Great "Western railroad bridge. Practically all work in 
the city was suspended and the people went out to watch the 
greatest flood the city had ever seen. 


The Mower County Farmers' Fire and Lightning Mutual 
Insurance Company is a permanent feature in this county. It 
has 2,499 policies in force at the present time amounting to some 
$5,717,-758. The company was organized as the Mower County 
Fire Insurance Company at a meeting held at the court house 
September 16, 1885. W. D. Medbery Avas in the chair and R. 
Eckford acted as clerk. The nine directors elected were: G. L. 
Case, Robert Eckford, H. W. Lightley, J. J. Furlong, G. Seebach, 
J. A. Thompson, Daniel Williams, Ole 0. Finhart and E. S. Hop- 
pin. The officers were: President, G. L. Case; secretary, R. 
Eckford; treasurer, E. S. Hoppin. The name was soon changed 
to the Farmers' Fire and Storm Mutual Insurance Company. 
Business was commenced December 1, 1885, and one year later 
203 policies were in force, covering insurance of $271,226. In 
1891 the name was changed to the Austin Farmers' Fire Insur- 
ance Company. Early in 1901 it became the Austin Farmers' 
Fire and Lightning Insurance Company, and on May 8 of the 
same year it assumed its present name. The present officers are : 
President, J. J. Furlong : secretary, A. Hotson ; treasurer, C. 
Proeschel; J. H. DeRemer, Frank Haney, D. L. Tanner, C. L. 
Schroeder, H. F. Kezar and Nils Anderson. 

The Austin Mutual Hail Insurance Company A\as started in 
]Mankato in 1896 and Avas moved to various places. Senator 
Charles F. Cook took hold of the concern some two years ago 
and moved the headquarters to Austin. This has given it new 
life, and it is growing rapidly. About one thousand policies are 
in force and some hundred agents employed. The officers are: 
President, C. F. Cook ; vice president, Andrew French ; treasurer, 
H. L. Banfield. 




Importance of Fruit Growing in Mower County — "Experiences 
of a Veteran Horticulturist," by John C. Hawkins — Fruit 
Growing in the Early Days — The Minnesota and Mower 
County Horticultural Societies Organized — Difficulties En- 
countered in Developing Mower County as a Fruit Growing 
Section — Persistent Efforts — Oldest Orchard in Mower 
County — Seedlings Raised Here. 

There are no statistics of a more recent date than 1900 which 
could be secured on which to base an estimate of the number 
of apple trees growing in Mower county, but a conservative esti- 
mate built on the number reported in 1900 and the sales of local 
nursery men puts the figure well past the two million mark. 
Apples are yearly shipped out of the county to Illinois and other 
states. The State Horticultural Society does a splendid work in 
educating our people and also in the encouragement of fruit 
growing and the raising of seedlings. Hundreds of horticulturists 
are now experimenting in the hope of getting a winter apple 
that will equal the Baldwin in all particulars and exceed it in 
some, and also win the reward of $1,000 which the state society 
offers for such an apple. Good winter apples are now raised, 
but the state wants an apple that will bring to jMinnesota as 
much fame as its butter has done. Mower county horticulturists 
are members of the Southern jMinnesota Horticultural Society, 
which meets yearly. The society has over one hundred members, 
Avho are enthusiastic in the work. 

Some idea of the horticultural resources of our county was 
given at our county fair held at Austin in September, 1909, when 
sixty varieties of apples and twenty-three varieties of plums were 
displayed for premiums. Grapes, pears and peaches were also 

John C. Hawkins is one of the veteran entliusiasts in Mower 
county on the subject of apple and plum growing in this vicinity. 
For many years he has labored in this cause, and has lived to 
see his work bear fruit. The folloAving article, entitled "Ex- 
])eriences of a Veteran Ilorticultnrist," has l)eeii prepared by 
him expres.sly for this history. 

What do 1 knoAV about horticulture^ from tlie standpoint of a 
veteran? Veteran, I suppose, means old j'nd worn out, and in 
that respe-t ! nm .-iblc 1o fill Hie lull. 1 mi;,'ht as well state before 
T begin that "1 w;is horned on the liorder of the Old Dominion, 


right dare among the niggers, but was fetched up among de 
white folks and know'd some of de fust families berry well." 
They always wore seedy hats and manifested a general appear- 
ance of that sort, talked politics exclusively and knew but little 

We had no horticultural societies then. They are all creatures 
of a later growth. Our friiits were all seedlings, and no one sup- 
posed that we could improve on nature. We now claim that some 
of our best fruits have originated from sports widely different 
from the parent tree. All the "sports'' we knew anything about 
at that time were our fast young men. If one tree happened to 
bear better fruit than the other, all the boys in the neighborliood 
knew about it, and the owner must be content with what he 
could get. Hence he did not care to improve his fruits — not 
even for the sake of the boys. I was there, and I know. 

We used to have glorious times at the apple parings which 
Avere held around in the neighborhood, and where each boy 
paired off with his best girl, or at least tried to. We had no 
such thing as fruit dryers then. The sun did the business with 
the assistance of the flies, the bees and the bugs. The fruit was 
placed upon scaffolds out of doors, or hung on strings about the 
old fire place. Pumpkins were sliced and strung up in the same 
manner to dry, and such delicious pies Auntie could make ! 
"Auntie," you understand, was not a real name, but meant par- 
excellence and denotes the highest degree of honor bestowed 
upon the darkey cook. 

The fruits grown at that time were not very inviting, and 
consequently there was little market for them ; in fact, no one 
thought of growing fruit for that purpose. I never saw a culti- 
vated strawberry until after I was grown. There were some 
wild ones growing along a ditch in my father's meadow, and he 
used to trounce me for tramping down the grass to get a taste 
of those berries, so is it any wonder that I am such an enthusiastic 
horticulturist ? 

I believe it was Massachusetts that first set the ball in motion 
with such men as Marshall P. Wilder in the lead. What has been 
the result? Horticultural societies have been formed and ex- 
tended throughout every state and almost every county in the 
Union. What are we doing? Experimenting; not blindly, but 
scientifically in the production of newer and better varieties of 
fruits and flowers, always holding fast the best until something 
better is attained. But how has tliis wonderful result been 
brought about? Through the means of influence of any particu- 
lar section or society? No; but through the united eft'orts of all 
the societies of all the states combined working together for the 
common good. This concentrated action in a measure controls 


the markets, systematizes the handling, packing and shipping of 
fruits, and regulates charges, commissions, etc. 

Now let us turn to Minnesota as one of those states having 
a distinct yet undivided interest in common Avith all the other 
states. She has been the child of circumstances from her birth, 
located so far north as to be almost beyond tlie limits of fruit 
growing. It has been said, and I believe truthfully, that any 
country that could not grow its own fruits sufficient for the 
common wants of the people could never attain to a high state 
of civilization. Does anyone suppose if all the difficulties that 
lay in the way could have been foreseen that anyone of these 
veterans would have been crazy enough to have attempted to 
form a horticultural society in Minnesota 1 But necessity knowa 
no law. We must have fruit, and we "went it blind," often- 
times reaching out our hands in error, expecting a prize but 
receiving only a blank. When I look into the face of experience 
it reminds me of the chaplain in the Confederate army who 
prayed most fervently that the Lord would give the soldiers 
more courage, when a veteran cried out, "We have courage 
enough already: pray for victuals." Ye veterans who have been 
fighting so long against such fearful odds, going a little here 
and a little there, begin now to see the silver lining that skirts 
the cloud that reflects the light from the opening gates of heaven ! 
But in order to carry out this great work there must be united 
effort on the part of every horticulturist, and I would especially 
call your attention to the efficiency of the ladies. Nothing in 
life stimulates action so much or makes our burdens so light 
as the sound of a happy voice with the light of a pleasant eye. 
Those who wish to attend the apple paring should always come 
in "pairs." Our younger members in all probability will not 
be required to sacrifice time and means with so little reward 
a.s those who have preceded them. The work of the Minnesota 
society has been well laid out and skillfully managed. We have 
the State Experimental Farm that is doing a grand work in 
the interests of horticulture, and then we have auxiliary stations 
in different parts of the state that make their annual reports to 
the central head station. All these reports come before this 
society and are published in its transactions, and in addition 
runners are sent abroad everywhere to spy out the land and 
gather in goodly fruits for the benefit of the commonwealth at 

In regard to myself, I can only say that my pride runs parallel 
with that of a friend of mine who always boasted of having 
been born in Boston, and declared if he had to be born again a 
hundred limes he would go straight back to Boston every time. 
I have 111) wisli to live my time over again, not even to correct 


the "mistakes of Moses," but if the mantle of youth could be 
thrown around me again I should fall in with this society and 
pitch my tent within some garden of roses. 

Small fruits of all kinds can be successfully grown in Mower 
county. I planted my first fruit trees in 1868, bought of Jordan 
& Co., Rochester, ]\Iinn. They survived a few years — and went 
to the brush pile. Then I tried Rockford, 111. They soon went 
the same way. About this time I joined the Minnesota State 
Horticultural Society and got aeciuainted with J. S. Harris, of 
La Crescent, Minn., who kindly gave me much fatherly advice 
and direction in planting and care of a young orchard. My 
neighbors began to take notice and ask questions. Do you ex- 
pect to grow apples and plums in this cold, bleak climate? "Why, 
certainly!" "Well, I guess not." But I kept tramping along, 
leaving my footprints all over this county, so that I am known 
to everyone as the "Apple Crank and Plum Fool." We finally 
felt the need of a local organization. So Bro. F. W. Kimbal, 
of Austin, and Bro. Clarence Wedge, of Albert Lea, got together 
and organized the Southern Minnesota Horticultural Society. It 
was a success from the start. Fillmore county came in, then 
Steele county, and we now have four counties 'in our territory. 

There are hundreds of young orchards in this county just 
coming into bearing, ranging in size from a few trees to fifteen 
hundred and two thousand. 

Some time ago I visited the oldest orchard in this county, 
planted by E. D. Ames, of Lyle township in 1857. Mr. Ames 
said that in 1863 this orchard bore some fruit, in 1864 a fair 
crop, and has borne every year since with the exception of this 
last year. A great many varieties died, but there are some 
"grand old trees" left yet that are producing fine crops every 
year. I especially noticed two varieties, "Haas" and "Dutchess" 
are inscribed on their trunks and they are good for another half 

There are several seedlings originated in this county. E. D. 
Ames has a fine Avinter variety. Decker's seedling has been 
growing between thirty and forty years on the farm of J. S. 
Decker, just east of the city of Austin. This is a large apple, 
somewhat in shape and color between Malinda and Northwest 
Greening. L. W. Prosser has a seedling apple named after him- 
self. It is probably a seedling from the Wealthy. This is a fine 
apple, medium size, color yellow, ground splashed with red, mild, 
sub-acid. Some trees are more prepotent than others. The 
Wealthy is remarkable in this respect. It has produced the 
Peter, almost identical with itself, and the Evelyn and Perfect 
hav<' many jxiiiits in coiinuon witli it. The Pros.ser, supposed 
to be a seedling of it, i-csciiil)l('s it in size and color of fruit. 


The Southern Minnesota Horticultural Society a few years ago 
(distributed hundreds of seedlings from the Wedge nursery at 
Albert Lea that will be heard from in the near future. 


State and County School System — First Schools and First Dis- 
tricts in Mower County — State Aid — Equipment — Literary 
Societies — Meetings for Officers, Teachers and Pupils — Ex- 
hibits and Contests — Institutes and Summer Schools — Pa- 
rochial Schools — Story of the Districts — Prepared with the 
Assistance of Miss Grace B. Sherwood. 

In the story of American civilization the establishment of the 
school and the church has been coincident with the building of 

However, at the formation of the Union, and later, when the 
federal government was established, there was no definite line of 
action as to public education, although at the same time that 
the Constitution was adopted the last session of the Continental 
Congress was being held in the city of New York, and the Ordi- 
nance of 1787 was passed, regulating the affairs pertaining to the 
Northwest territory, including that portion of Minnesota lying 
east of the Mississippi river. In this ordinance much attention 
was given to the question of providing a means of public educa- 
tion, by giving one section in each congressional township for 
educational purposes. Later, Avhen the purchase of Louisiana 
was effected, and Minnesota sought admission into the Union, 
still further provision Avas made for education by giving two 
sections in each congressional township for such purposes. This 
gave impetus to the natural tendency toward educational mat- 
ters, and we find that one of the first efforts in the ncAv settle- 
ments was to prepare to educate the children. The church and 
the school building, Avhen not one and the same, Avere practically 
always found side by side. The hardy pioneers of the Great 
NorthAvest — of which Minnesota was a part — did not Avait CA^en 
for a territorial government, but set to work at once to establish 
schools. The first one in Minnesota, for the education of Avhite 
children, Avas organized by Dr. Williamson, at the present site 
of the city of St. Paul. We are told that investigation demon- 
strated thiit tlicrc Avei'c about tliirtv-six children in the settle- 


ment who might attend a school. A log house, 10x12 feet, covered 
with bark and chinked with mud, previously used as a black- 
smith shop, was secured and converted into a schoolhouse, and 
taught by Miss Bishop. Here, then, while the United States 
troops were gaining such signal success in the war with Mexico, 
was begun the system of education which has become one of the 
best in this great nation. In this same little schoolhouse, in 
November, 1849, Avas held a meeting for the purpose of estab- 
lishing a system of public education, based upon the congressional 
act of March, 1849, establishing Minnesota territory. Alexander 
Ramsey, of Pennsylvania, when appointed governor, proceeded 
at once to assume the duties of his office. In his first message to 
the territorial legislature, in the fall of 1849, he emphasized the 
need of wise measures looking to the establishment of a system 
of public education in these words: "The subject of education, 
which has ever been esteemed of first importance in all new 
American communities, deserves, and, I doubt not, will receive 
your earliest and most devoted care. From the pressure of other 
and more immediate wants it is not to be expected that your 
school system should be very ample, yet it is desirable that what- 
ever is done should be of a character that will readily adapt itself 
to the growth and increase of the country, and not in future 
years require a violent change of system." 

In response to this appeal for legislation in school matters we 
find that a committee on education was appointed, and a very 
able report was made by the chairman, Hon. Martin McLeod. 
This report was formulated into an act relating to public schools 
in Minnesota, which act was passed on the last day of the 
session, November 1, 1849. It organized the territory into 
districts, of which the township was the unit, and provided that 
if a township had within its limits five families it should be 
considered as one district, but if it contained ten families it 
should be divided into two districts. Tax levy was provided, 
and a system of management arranged. The first superintendent 
of common schools for the territory was Rev. E. D. Neill, who 
served till 1853. His salary was $100 a year. 

The first school instruction in IMower county was given in 
the pioneer homes by mothers, who, though they had come to a 
new country, did not wish their children to grow \\p in ignorance. 
The public system in the county started in 1856, and in that year 
many schools and school districts were organized. It is not 
known definitely where or when the first public school was opened 
in Mower county, l)ut the school taught by IMaria Vaughan, in 
Austin, in a log house on the north side of what is now AVater 
street, west of the ("liieago Great Western tracks, was one of 
the earliest. Tliis was in 1855. A school was also opened in 


Le Roj' at about the same time. The first sehoolhoiise erected in 
the county was in what is now district No. 4, in Le Roy town- 
ship. This was built of logs, donated and put up by the citizens 
on the southeast corner of the quarter of the north- 
west quarter of section 29. township 101, range 14. This land 
Avas donated for school purposes by J. M. "Wykoff, still a resi- 
dent of Le Roy, the site of this pioneer school being now a part 
of the John Frank farm. The old building is still in existence, 
and is located on the farm occupied by George Klapper. The 
first teacher in this old schoolhouse was Melissa Allen, daughter 
of David Allen, and afterward wife of Isaac C. Spencer. The 
teachers who followed her were N. B. Todd, A. J. Porter, Isaac 
Smith, Celinda Burnap, Eliza Pierce and Emma Knapp. N. B. 
Todd, the second teacher, was a brother-in-law of J. M. Wykoff. 
Probably the only pupil still remaining in this vicinity who 
attended the session of this early school is Mrs. L. "W. Prosser, 
who lives near Le Roy. Mrs. Prosser is a daughter of W. B. 
Spencer, who was a prominent pioneer of the early days. 

The ^rst three districts organized by the commissioners of 
]Mower county, July 7, 1856, Avere district number 1, now dis- 
trict number IG, in Frankford township; district number 2, all 
of what is now Red Rock township, and district number 3, 
now districts number 35 and 36 in Racine township. District 1 
included sections 13. 14, 23, 24, 25 and 26 and the east half of 
sections 15, 22 and 27 in township 103, range 14. The petition 
was presented by J. "\V. Farquir and others. District 2 included 
all of township 103, range 17, and the petition Avas presented by 
John L. Johnson. District 3 included the south half of section 
1 and all of sections 2, 3, 10, 11 and 12, toAvnship 103, range 14. 
The petition Avas presented by Louis Chamberlain. March 16, 1856, 
the county commissioners levied a tax for school purposes equal 
to one-quarter of one per cent on the amount of the assessment 
roll as returned in July. 

The schools in the coiimioii disti-ic-ts arc under tlie immediate 
supervision of a board of trustees in each district, consisting of 
three members, the special and independent districts having a 
board of education, consisting of from five to seven members. 
The county superintendent liiis general supervision of the schools 
in the county. It is lier duly to visit each school, advise teachers 
and school officers in regard to the best methods of instruction, 
the most approved plans for building, improving and ventilating 
schoolhouses and ornamenting school grounds: conduct teachers' 
and officers' meetings and make reports to the state superin- 
t'udent of public instruction. 

The state grants special aid to schools coming up to certain 
standards of requirements — $1,750 to high schools, $600 to graded 


seliools, $300 to semi-graded schools, $150 to first class rural 
schools, and $100 to second class rural schools. Mower county 
at the present thne receives special state aid for four high schools, 
three graded schools, five semi-graded, twenty-seven first class 
rural and twenty-seven second class rural schools. 

Progressive educators hopefully look forward to tlie time, in 
the near future, when the country boys and girls will be af- 
forded facilities equal to the best in the cities — when, as a re- 
sult of consolidation and the establishment of local agricultural 
graded and high schools, each teacher will not be required to 
teach more grades than she can handle to best advantage, and 
the pupils be enabled to secure a good elementary and high 
school education without leaving home. 

There are now 139 organized districts in the county. Of these, 
four, Austin, Lyle, LeRoy and Grand IMeadow, are city schools 
with first class high schools. Three are graded schools, Adams, 
Brownsdale and Dexter, each with four teachers. Five are semi- 
graded, Taopi and Lansing and Waltham, each with two teach- 
ers, and Racine and Rose Creek, each with three teachers. The 
others are one-roomed schools. There are ten districts which are 
joint with other counties and of these eight have their school- 
houses out of Mower county. Eleven schools have an enrollment 
of less than ten pupils and forty-two have an enrollment of from 
ten to twenty. The largest enrollment is forty-eight pupils, in 
district 65, in the northern part of Adams, and the smallest is 
five pupils, in district 6, in the southwestern part of Adams. 

During the past year seventeen districts had nine months of 
school ; seventy-one schools, eight months ; twenty-two schools, 
seven months; sixteen schools, six months, and three schools, 
five months. Most of the short-year school districts have a de- 
nominational session a part of the year. Four of the districts 
have no school in session. 

During the year 1909-10 seventy-two pupils received cei-tifi- 
cates certifying that thoy had completed eighth grade studies 
v/ith credit. During the present year some 300 are planning to 
take the examinations. 

Most of the schools are well equipped Avith those things which 
are required for efficient work. IMany of the schoolhouses are 
new and the old ones are in an excellent state of repair. In 
the whole county there are probably not more than six schools 
that could be called in poor condition. Eighty schools have pat- 
ented lieating plants and fifteen of the rural schools have fur- 
naces, wliich are well looked aftcf. All but three have libraries. 
During the present yeiii- eiglity seliools will meet the require- 
ment for state aid in addition to the seven higb and graded 


The teachers' training schools, which are conducted in the 
county every other summer, do much to increase the efficiency 
of the teachers. These schools are paid by the state and are 
conducted under the direction of the county superintendent and 
a conductor appointed by the state department of public in- 
struction. Instruction is given in all the branches required for 
ji teacher's cei-tificate. In addition, there are classes in various 
other subjects. These schools are free and are well attended. 
It is expected that 225 will be enrolled this year. 

There are various literary and debating societies in the schools 
and the reading circle for the teachers is well patronized. An 
institute is held every other spring and three teachers' meet- 
ings are held annually. A school officers' meeting and a spelling 
contest are also held each year. The annual graduating exercise 
were held last year at Dexter, with a picnic, sports and various 
other profitable and pleasant events. At the county fair each 
year the exhibits of the children make an excellent showing, a 
building having been erected for this purpose. Last year 280 
prizes were aAvarded to children between the ages of eight and 
sixteen for the excellence of their exhibits. 

Parochial schools have l)een conducted in various communities 
ever since the early days. There are various types of these 
schools. The Catholics have excellent schools in Austin, Adams 
and Johnsburg (Adams). In these schools the usual graded and 
high school subjects are taught, and religious instruction is also 
given. There is a Norwegian school in section 15, Nevada 
township, and German schools are located in section 29, 
"Waltham township, section 32, Dexter township and section 18, 
Pleasant Valley township. In some communities, as has already 
been noted, the district schoolhouses are used for sectarian in- 
.struction when the regular public school is not in session. Schools 
are held also in several of tlie churches of the county. 

One commercial institution, tlie Southern IMinnesota Normal 
College, is located at Austin. 

In the graded and high schools of the county there are 2.020 
jmpils enrolled and in the country schools there are 2,899. There 
are 204 teachers employed. year the expense for graded 
and high schools was .^96,675.97 and the expense for the common 
schools was .^88,629.50. 

Udolpho. Tlie first school in what is now Udolpho township 
was a select school taught by Eliza A. Wilcox in a part of heB 
fatlier's residence. This was a three months' term in the Avinter 
of 1856-57. Eliza also taught a term of district school in the 
summer of 1857 in the house of Thomas Richardson, in section 16. 
For lier services the teacher received $2 a week and boarded 
around. District 49. The first school in this district was kept 


in the summer of 1857 in the home of Thomas Richardson, by 
Eliza A. Wilcox. The district was organized in 1859, and a log 
schoolhouse was built in section 16. Eliza A. Wilcox was also 
the first teacher in this house. It was used for school purposes 
until 1870, when it was replaced by a frame building located on 
the southeast quarter of section 8. Rosa Carey taught the first 
school in this building. District 50. The first school in this dis- 
trict was a summer school, in 1857, and Priscilla Miller Avas the 
first teacher. The school was held in a log house erected for the 
purpose by the neighbors, in the northwest corner of the north- 
east quarter of section 26. This building was used for school 
purposes until the spring of 1866, when it was replaced by a brick 
building, erected during the fall of 1865, on the southwest cor- 
ner of section 24. This building has been replaced with a wooden 
structure. District 119 joint. This district was organized as 
district 57 October 9, 1869, and the first school was held that 
winter at the house of John Tuekerson in section 30, Carlos Man- 
chester being the teacher. School was held in this house until 
1872, when a small house was erected in the southeast corner of 
section 19. Mr. Manchester was also the first teacher in this 
house. District 60. This district was organized in the winter of 
1868 or 1869. A schoolhouse was erected the next spring in the 
southeast corner of section 2. This was a frame house and the 
lumber was hauled by team from Red Wing. The first school 
after the completion of the building was a summer session kept 
by Mrs. Mary Timber, wife of E. Thuber, then living in section 
10. The schoolhouse was afterward moved to the northeast 
corner of section 11. District 76. This district was organized in 
1869. The first school was held in the house of S. H. Smith in 
section 33, the teacher being Hattie L. Sanford. School was held 
in the house of Mr. Smith until 1876, when a new frame house 
was built in the southwest corner of the northeast quarter of 
section 28. Hattie Ricker was the first teacher. District 111 
joint was organized by the legislature during the session of 1881- 
82, and the schoolhouse is located just over the Freeborn county 
line in Neury township. Myra Maxwell was the first teacher, 
the first session being the summer term of 1882. District 70 and 
district 70 joint. The first school in this district was held in 
the dwelling house of John Torkelson, in 1868-69. Carlos Man- 
chester was the teacher. In 1870 a schoolhouse was built on the 
old Knut Thompson place. Carlos Manchester was also teacher 
here. That school was maintained until 1888. In 1889 there was 
a division, and each district erected a new schoolhouse. The first 
teacher in the new schoolhouse in district 79 joint was Gertrude 
^r. Carll. of Fdolpho. The above facts were gatliercd by Jolm T. 


Lansing. District 43. The first school in Lansing township 
Avas a summer school held in 1858. by Ann ]\Iathieson, in a small 
house built for a residence by John Pettibone, in section 11. 
The first schoolhouse was a frame building erected in the fall 
of 1858, on the northeast corner of section 11. The first term 
was taught that winter by George Wood. The material for this 
was native lumber sawed at the steam mill at Lansing. The 
district failed to pay for the lumber and the house reverted to 
the parties who furnished it. It was sold to Mrs. C. S. Rolph. 
In 1866 a brick building was erected, in the southwest corner of 
section 2. The first school in this house was a winter term 
taught by John E. Robinson. In the fall of 1871 a frame addi- 
tion was built. District 43 embraces the village of Lansing. Dis- 
trict 44, Ramsey village. The first school in this district was a 
small log house situated in the southeast corner of the southwest 
quarter of section 27. The first school was kept by Charles Oaks, 
in the winter of 1857-58. The old log house was used for school 
purposes until the summer of 1866, when a brick building was 
erected. This house was located near the section line on the 
east side of section 22. The first school in this house was kept 
by Romanda S. Carpenter. In 1909 a modern brick building was 
erected. This is one of the best rural schools in the state, 
equipped with all the latest improvements. Alice ]\IcCarthy was 
the first teacher. In 1910, Mrs. Addie Cook, who owns one of 
the largest farms in the district, presented the school with a 
piano. District 45. This district was organized in 1858, and a 
log house was built, gratutiously, by the neighbors. The first 
school was taught by a Miss Richardson in the summer of 1858. 
This house was used as a school until 1868, when a frame house 
was built. Ella J. Cook was the first teacher in this building. 
District 101. A frame schoolhouse was erected in section 13 
in the fall of 1876, with Patrick Gilroy as teacher. District 122 
was organized in 1893, and a schoolhouse built the same year in 
section 20. Paula Brown was the first teacher. District 72, 
joint. This school is located in Corning village, section 6. 

Austin. District 27. This district embraces the city of Aus- 
tin. The first school in Austin township outside the limits of 
the city was taught in the winter of 1857, in the building of 
Robert Autis. District 26. The first school in this district was 
taught in the house of M. J. Woodson by his son Henry in the 
summer of 1858, the young man receiving $10 a month for his 
services. James Johnson tauglit the second term of school in 
the same liouse. In 1859 a log liouse was erected on the north- 
east quarter of section 10. George and Oliver Beemis gave the 
h)gs wliicb wcic cut and drawn to the spot l)y M. J. and W. A. 
Woodson and II. Van AVinkle. Abbie Litchfield, now Mrs. Eu- 


gene Crane, of ^Minneapolis, was the first tear^her in this house. 
George Emery was tlie first teaclier in the frame house built on 
the southwest corner of section 11. District 28. This district 
was originated at a meeting held at the house of D. L. Chandler 
in the winter of 1856-57. Welcome Osborne, D. L. Chandler and 
George Phelps were the first officers in this district. In the 
summer of 1857 a log schoolhouse was built on the northeast 
corner of the southeast quarter of section 32. Delang Richard- 
son was the first teacher in this house, which was in use five 
years.. Then a house was built in the southwest corner of sec- 
tion 28. Mary Hoag Avas the first teacher. District 29, Varco 
Station. The first schoolhouse in this district was erected in 
1857, at a "bee" of the neighbors, being built from logs. Money 
was raised by subscription to complete the building. Delang 
Richardson was the first to teach in this house. The building 
was located in the southeast corner of section 23. In 1864 the 
building was burned and a stone house was erected on the south- 
west corner of the northwest quarter of section 25. Forest 
Marsh was the first teacher. In 1879 this building was torn 
down and a frame building was erected. Mary Hood was the 
first teacher in this house. District 55. The first school in this 
district was taught by Elizabeth Stone, in a claim shanty located 
on the southwest corner of section 8. This was in 1865. In 
1869 a frame building was erected on the southwest corner of 
the northwest quarter of section 17, Mary Scullen being the 
first teacher. District 128 has a schoolhouse in the eastern half 
of section 21. The house was built in 1900 and Pearl Bowers 
was the first teacher. 

Lyle. District 13. The first school in this district, as well 
as the first taught in the town, was in session during the sum- 
mer of 1856. taught by IMaria Vaughan, in a log house built by 
one Pinkcrton on the northeast quarter of section 32. Zillah 
Beach afterward taught in Lorenzo Moshier's house, on the north- 
west quarter of section 29. Thomas Parker was an early teacher 
here. Rev. Samuel Loomis taught in Samuel Surface's house. 
In 1860 the district purchased a frame building in Otranto and 
moved it to the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of 
section 23. T. J. Locke, C. R. Houston, ErAvin Lyle and Dora 
Clappsaddle were early teachers in that house, which was in 
use until 1874. In this year was built a house in the northeast 
quarter of section 32. S. Anna IMcCune was the first to teach 
in this house. In the spring of 1908 this building was burned' 
and was replaced by a modern frame building on the same site. 
The first teacher in this l)uilding was Dora Drcwes. District 12. 
About the year 1859 the first school was taught in this district 
by Rev. Samuel Loomis in a log house standing in section 3. Not 


long after this a schoolhouse was built through the united efforts 
of the people. James Foster fui-nished poplar logs for the body 
of the house. C. H. Huntington furnished the burr oak logs for 
the foundation. The men of the district cut down trees and 
erected the building. A new house was erected on the same site 
about 1879. Al. Hieock was the first teacher in this house. Dis- 
trict 14. A log house situated on the southeast quarter of sec- 
tion 5 and formerly owned by John Tiftt, housed the first school 
in the district. School was kept here four terms, beginning in 
1856, with Nellie Hawkins as first instructor. In 1870 a frame 
building was erected for the school on the southeast corner of 
the southwest quarter of section 5. The first who taught in 
tliis house was Amelia Houghton, afterward Mrs. M. B. Slocum. 
The building was later removed to the southeast quarter of 
section 5. District 15. The first school in this district was taught 
by Thomas Parker in a log house on the property of Josopli 
Thompson in the southeast corner of section 27. This was re- 
placed in 1867 by a frame building in the northeast quarter of 
section 34. The first teacher in this Avas a Miss Carpenter from 
Michigan. Five years later in 1872 a larger house was erected 
on the same site, J. W. Weiser Avas the first teacher in this 
building. This building was destroyed by cyclone and replaced 
with a frame edifice. A beautiful surrounding grove was also 
destroyed by the storm. District 70. This district was organ- 
ized in 1867 and the first school taught by Emma Smith, in a 
small frame house on the northeast quarter of section 19. In 
1874 a larger building was erected on the old site. District 54. 
This district was organized in 1867 and the first house was built 
of logs on the southwest quarter of section 12, the first teacher 
being Cynthia Addington. In 1881 a good frame house Avas 
erected on the southAvest quarter of section 13. Nina Bisbit 
Avas the first teacher in this house. District 57. This school 
is located in the southeast quarter of section 15. District 57, 
according to \V. G. Pace, was organized August 17, 1892, and a 
schoolhouse built the same fall on the west side of the south- 
east quarter of section 15. Araminta W. Ileseman was the first 
teacher. District !)0. Tliis district has a fine school in the vil- 
lage of Lyle. Kxcclb'iit Avork has been done in manual train- 
ing and agriculture in addition to the usual school duties. The 
schoolhouse is a Avcll-cquipii.'d building of brick and nine teach- 
ers are employed. A liistory of tliis district is given in connec- 
tion Avith tlie history of the village of Lyle. 

Waltham. Di.strict 58. Waltham village. This district Avas 
organized in 1866 and a frame house erected on the nortlnvest 
corner of section 15. Tlic first school was a Aviiiter term in 1868. 
Dorothy Johnson AValkcr was llic iir-st teacher. The school is 


now housed in a two-roomed frame building, one of the best 
equipped in the county. The pupils have a reputation for win- 
ning more prizes in industrial and educational contests than any- 
other school in this part of the state. District 61. This district 
was organized in ]866. The first school was a summer term in 
18G7, taught by Emma Hoy. in a schoolliousc completed 
Ihat year, located on the northwest cornc%r of section 27. Dis- 
trict 89. This district was organized in the fall of 1874. A 
frame house was erected during the summer of the following 
year on the northwest corner of the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 35. The first school was the winter term of 1875-76 and 
was taught by J. L. Dole, siibstituting for his daughter Addie, 
who after being engaged to teach was taken ill. The schoolhouse 
is now located in the soiithwest qiiarter of section 26. District 
93. Tliis Avas organized in the fall of 1875 and the following 
spring a frame schoolhouse was built on the northeast corner of 
section 30. The first school was taught by Belle Leighton. Dis- 
trict 110 was organized in 1881 and the first school kept by 
Flossie Brown, a frame hoiise having been erected, in the south- 
east corner of section 6. District 124 has a school in the south- 
east quarter of section 1. According to John P. Johnson, the 
district was organized in 1893 and a schoolhouse Iniilt the same 
year on the present site. Nora 0. Chandler was the first teacher. 
In 1910 the foundation was raised and laid with cement blocks, 
a new fioor was put in and a Smith heating and ventilation sys- 
ti'm installed. District 126 has a schoolhouse in the north half 
of section 23. This district Avas organized in 1897. The school- 
house was brought from district 107 and moved west to its pres- 
ent location. 

Red Rock. District 38, Brownsdale village. This district 
was organized in 1856 and -a schoolhouse built that year. The 
first teacher was Sarah Ticknor. This house was burned in 1858, 
but immediately rebuilt. This house in turn was burned in 1871 
and at once replaced by a fine building. The village now has a 
four-room schoolhouse set in a beautiful grove. It became a 
graded school last year and is well equipped for excellent work. 
District 37. The first school taught in this district was a select 
one under the management of Mrs. Angeline A. Tanner, in tlie 
summer of 1859 at the house of Elder Milo Farril in section 13. 
The first district school was in the winter of 1860-61, held in 
tlie log granary of E. E. Tanner in section 12. In 1862 a frame 
house was erected in section 11. The first school in this house 
Avas taught l)y S. P. SteAvart. District 39 Avas organized in the 
summer of 1858 and a two months' term of school taught by 
Tina Perry in the house in section 5, sessions being held 
in the homes of the district until 1864. Avhcn a frame house Avas 


built. The school was erected in section 5. The first school in 
this house was under the management of Eliza A. Simes. Dis- 
trict 41. The first school in this district was in the summer of 
3863, kept by Emma Hoy in a small house in section 33. The 
following summer the neighbors erected a temporary building 
of poles set in the ground and board up in section 34. The first 
school in this building Mas kept by Mary Lynch. This district 
was organized in 1865 and a frame house erected in section 34 
the following summer. The first school in this house was also 
kept by Emma Hoy. District 42. The first school in this dis- 
trict was the summer term of 1865 in a board shanty erected 
for the purpose by the district and located in section 23. Susan 
Bacon was the first teacher. In the fall of 1866, the district 
erected a schoolhouse on the site of the shanty and Mrs. Sarah 
E. Brown was the first teacher. In the fall of 1876 the build- 
ing was removed to section 24. District 68. In 1869 an eifort 
was made to organize this district, but owing to some irregu- 
larities nothing further Avas done until 1876, when the district 
Avas fully organized and a frame house erected in time for the 
summer term, Avhich Avas taught by Lyle Lynch. The school is 
located in section 29. District 115. This district AA'as organized 
in 1878 and a frame schoolhouse erected the folloAving spring 
on the southwest corner of section 35. The first school in this 
house was taught by ]\lary HathaAvay, Avho later became ]\Irs. 
EdAvard Slocum. District 116 Avas organized by the legislature 
of 1881. and the first school AA^as taught that spring by jMary 
Rugg. The school is in the northwest corner of section 23. 

Windom. District 40. This district Avas originally a part of 
district 23. The first school was taught in the spring of 1857 by 
Jane Reeves in a board shanty in section 6, oAvned by Henry Fero. 
In the fall of that year a log schoolhouse Avas erected in the 
southAvest corner of the northeast quarter of section 6. This Avas 
the first building erected for educational purposes in the toAvn- 
ship. ]\Iaria Slocum Avas the first teacher in this building. In 
1867 the district Avas divided, and district 40 assumed its present 
number. Lumber was purchased for a schoolhouse, but for a 
time school was taught in a temporary shanty erected on the 
northeast corner of section 6. ]\laggie Smith, now Mrs. Man- 
chester, of Minneapolis, taught the first term there. Soon after 
a frame building was erected on the same site, and Amelia Hough- 
ton was the teacher. District 23 originally included the pres- 
ent district 40. After the separation, in 1867, a temporary build- 
ing was erected in the southAvestern part of the northAvest quarter 
of section 7. Amanda Streavor taught the first term in this 
building. In 1868 a frame house Avas built. R('l)ecca Otis taught 
the first seliddl in this building. l)istri<'t 24 Avas organized in 


i ^ 
1857. The first school was taught by Mrs. Horatio Marsh in her 
home. Mary Slaven completed the term. The following year a 
schoolhouse was erected on the north half of the southeast quarter 
of section 20, by subscription. Kate Bailey was the first teacher 
in the house. In 1868 a frame house was erected on the north- 
east quarter of the northwest quarter of section 29, Avith Agnes 
Hull as the first teacher. District 88 originally included dis- 
trict 25, which now embraces Rose Creek village. The district 
vv-as organized as No. 25, in 1859, and the first school was taught 
in Patrick O'Maley's house, with Sarah Slaven as first teacher. 
School was afterward taught in Michael Slaven 's house. In 1864 
a log house was erected on the northeast quarter of the southeast 
quarter of section 23, in which Eosetta Fuller taught the first 
term of school. In 1874 the district was divided, and the south 
half, now Rose Creek village, retained the old number. In 
1876 a frame house was erected in the south part of section 13. 
District 25. After Rose Creek was designated as district 25, in 
1874, and the remainder of the district set off as No. 88, a frame 
house was erected in the village and Mary J. Gregory taught the 
first term. In the summer of 1908 a four-room bi'ick building 
was erected in Rose Creek, modern in every respect. District 22. 
This district was organized in 1865 and a frame house erected on 
the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 10, in 
which ]\Ielinda Brown taught the first school. Roswell Slocum 
donated half an acre for the schoolhouse site. The lumber was 
drawn from Winona, Obadiah Smith erecting the building. Dis- 
trict 46 was organized in 1869. During the following yea:r a 
board shanty was erected on the southwest corner of section 32. 
The first term of school was taught in that building by Maggie 
Smith. In 1874 a frame house was erected on the same site. 
James Woodard was the first teacher in this house. District 73 
was organized in 1869. The first building was a cheap struc- 
ture erected on the southwest corner of section 14. Alice French 
Avas the first teacher. In 1876 a good building was erected on 
the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 22, in 
which Newell Slocum was the first teacher. District 82. The 
first school in this district was taught in 1867 by Maggie Smith 
in a house erected by Thomas Smith in the northeast quai'ter of 
section 12. After three weeks a frame house was erected on the 
southeast corner of section 1, in which Addie Fairbanks was the 
first teacher. District 123. This district was organized and a 
schoolhouse erected in 1893. Olive Savage was the first teacher. 
Nevada. District 9. In 1857 the scholars living within the 
present limits attended a school taught by Osroe Peterson in the 
home of Hans Swenson. School was taught in other private 
houses until the winter of 1865-66, when a log schoolhouse was 


built on the northeast corner of section 31, the money being raised 
by subscription. Afterward a tax was levied and the money 
refunded. Christiana Goby was the first teacher in this house. 
In 1882 a frame house was erected a few rods west of the old 
site. District 11. The first school in this district was held in a 
board shanty owned by James Gerard, located in section 21. The 
next term was taught by Belinda Robinson in a claim shanty in 
section 22. The first schoolhouse in the town and district was 
built in 1858, on the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of 
section 28, Martin Hanson having given one acre for school pur- 
poses. In 1872 a new house was erected on the old site. The 
first teacher in this house was Nels Kalkon. District 10. The 
first school in this district was taught by Sarah Austin in 1858, 
in a claim shanty belonging to Gregg & Austin. In 1860 a log 
house was erected for school purposes in the southeast corner of 
section 7. Delang Richardson was the first teacher. Later a 
frame house Avas erected, and S. Clow was the first teacher. 
District 87. This district was organized in 1870 and a school- 
house erected the following year in the southeast quarter of 
section 23. IMary Gregg was the first teacher. District 104 was 
organized in 1878 and a frame house erected that same year, in 
the southwest corner of section 3. The first teacher was ]\Iinda 
H. Ruland. District 56. A* frame schoolhouse was erected in 
this district in 1865 and the first school was taught the follow- 
ing year. The house is located in the southwest corner of 
section 1. 

Sargeant. District !»1. The first schoolhouse built in the 
town was in this district, in 1875, in the northeast corner of 
section 15. Jn the summer of that year Eliza W. Sargent taught 
the first scliool. A Norwegian school was started in the same 
house, with Knud Arhns as the first teacher. The schoolhouse 
is located in the southern half of section 2. District 111 was 
organized in 1879. A schoolhouse was built that year on the 
northeast quarter of section 26. Ella King was the first teacher. 
District 113 was organized in 1880, and a schoolhouse built on 
!). Tiie first school was taught 
The srhoolhouse in this district 
located .just over tlic line in sce- 
Tliis is tlie village school of 
.'hoolhousc in this disti'ict is lo- 
cated in the northeast quarter of section 32. 

Dexter. District 78. The first school in this district was the 
first in the touii of Dexter, and was taught by Mrs. G. \V. Bowles, 
at her home in a log house at the northeast (juarter of section 33. 
in 1868. A sciiooliiouse was built the following year on the 
southwest corner of the southwest <|uarter of section 27. Dis- 

the s( 


st (|U< 

irtcr of 


by T. 





t 107. 

was (• 



ed in 

ISSO. ai: 

1(1 wa: 





III town 





ct 114. 



trict 108 was organized in 1877. The schoolhouse was built the 
same year on the northwest quarter of section 36. The first 
teacher was Jennie L. Schryver. District 106 was organized in 
1877, and a schoolhouse erected in 1878 in the southwest quarter 
of section 29, Jennie Fairbanks being the first teacher. District 
98 was organized in 1878 and the first school taught that year in 
the home of Nelson Huntington, by his daughter Mary, with a 
single pupil, her sister Rose. Later the territory of this district 
was attached to Dexter village. In 1877 the district was set apart 
and a schoolhouse built on the northeast corner of the northwest 
quarter of section 2. Andrew Quinn and Cora Chadbourne were 
two of the earliest teachers in this building. District 86. Dexter 
village. This district was organized in 1874. The first school 
was a temporary building, put up that year. School was taught 
in the winter of 187J:-75 by Jesse King. In 1877 a new building 
was erected. At present there is a modern four-room school, well 
equipped in every .respect. District 121. The schoolhouse is 
located in the sovithwest quarter of section 16. This district, 
according to William Newbauer, was organized February 4, 1889, 
and a schoolhouse built the same year on the present site. The 
first teacher was Mary Siegel. District 125. The pupils of this 
district attend school in a schoolhouse on the northwest corner 
of the southeast quarter of section 11. According to G. B. 
Harvey the district was organized about 1895, and the school- 
house erected the same year. Ethel H. Wilsie was the first 
teacher. District 129. This district has a school in the south- 
west quarter of section 5. It is the youngest of all the IMower 
county school districts, and was organized July 12. 1905, under 
the good offices of W. L. Lewis. D. L. Tanner, F. E. Hambreeht, 
J. Johnson and William Christie. A schoolhouse was built the 
same year, and Anna Hanson was the first teacher. W. M. 
Phillips was the first clerk. 

Marshall. District 65 was organized in 1867. The first term 
of school was taught in Helga Errickson's house, by Rosella 
Bourgard. The school was built in the southeast quarter of 
section 85. In 1879 it was moved to the northwest quarter of 
the southwest quarter of section 25. Ida Waite was the first 
teacher after the removal. District 81 was organized about the 
year 1876. when a frame house was erected in section 2. School 
was first taught in 1878 by Ida Waite. This is the village school 
of Elkton. District 105 was organized in 1879 and a school- 
liouse erected in the northwest corner of section .84. the first 
school being taught by Annie Christopherson. District 108. 
This district was organized Se|)tember 20, 1879. A was 
erected tiiat fall in the sontlieast coimht of seetion 17, and the 
first term was taught by Georgf Kmery in tlie winter of 1879-80. 


District 120. The school in this district is located on the north- 
east corner of section 9. According to C. E. Thompson the dis- 
trict was organized in 1888 and the schoolhouse built that fall. 

Adams. District 6. This district was organized in 1858 and 
a small schoolhouse was erected of logs and covered with hay. 
The building was located in section 29. The term of school in 
this house was taught in the winter of 1858-59 by R. M. Rooney. 
The house was burned by a prairie fire the following summer. 
Another log house was erected on the site of the old one, and in 
this Mr. Rooney was also the first teacher. This building was 
likewise burned and a good substantial frame was erected one- 
half mile south of the old one in section 32. The first teacher in 
this house was Nils Nason. District 7 was organized in 1858. 
A schoolhouse was located in section 8. The house is now located 
in section 9. District 8 is the village school of Adams. It was 
organized in 1858, and a schoolhouse was erected in section 11 in 
1873. At present there is a four-room graded school. District 71. 
This district was organized in 1871, and the first school was held 
the same year at the house of John Fagans, Robert Carter being 
the teacher. In 1872 a frame schoolhouse was erected on section 
25. The first teacher in this house was Lizzie Boding. The pres- 
ent building is in section 26. District 72 Avas organized in 1871 
and the first schoolhouse was built in section 22. Catherine Mad- 
den taught the first school. The school is now located in 
section 27. 

Pleasant Valley. The first school in this township was taught 
by Carolina Hoag in the summer of 1858. The sessions were 
held in a small cabin, twelve by twelve, and eight feet high. 
This house stood on runners and during winters was used as a 
preemption shanty, remaining on one claim long enough for the 
occupant to "prove up," and then being hauled by an ox team to 
another claim. In siunmers it was generally stationed on sec- 
tions 11 or 12 and devoted to school purposes. Later it was 
converted into a wood shed. District 47. In the winter of 
I860, before the organization of this district, a school was taught 
Avithin its limits in the house of John Rowley. The first teacher 
was Alden Douglas. The district was organized in 1862. A 
schoolhouse was built the following season on the northern part 
of section 29. The first teacher here was C. D. Douglas. Dis- 
trict 48 was organized in 1863. Two early terms were taught 
in the house of E. B. Blakelec by Alden Douglas. The school- 
house was built in 1864 in the southwest part of section 15. 
Mary Iloag taught the first school. The present house is about 
half a mile north of the old site. District 51. The first school 
in this district was taught in 1861, by jMary lloag, in Robert 
Reed's milkhouse. The organization was in 1865, and a building 


was erected in 1867, in the southwest corner of the northwest 
quarter of section 8. The first teacher was Alice Sargent. Dis- 
trict 62. A school was taught in Dan. AVilliam's house in this 
district in 1865. The district was organized March 30, 1867, and 
the schoolhouse built the same j^ear, in the southeast cjuarter of 
section 11. In 1909 a new schoolhouse was built a mile south 
of this site. District 75. The first school in this district was 
taught by Artemisia Way. The district was organized in 1869 
and a frame building erected in section 32. The first teacher 
was Hattie Hoppin. District 94. The first school in this dis- 
trict was erected in 1874 on the northeast quarter of section 35, 
but was afterward moved a mile west to where it now stands. 
Alba G. Paddock was the first teacher. 

Grand Meadow. The schools in this township are located 
as follows: District 112. northeast quarter, section 7; District 
53, southwest quarter of section ]0; District 26, northwest quar- 
ter of section 12; District 21, south half of section 35; District 
77, village of Grand Meadow, section 22 ; District 69, southeast 
quarter of section 29. District 20, according to G. J. Gilbert- 
son, was organized May 1, 1868, with A. O. Finhart as treasurer, 
0. W. Case as clerk and B. F. Langworthy as director. A new 
schoolhouse was built in 1884, replacing the one erected when 
the district was organized. Later a belfry was added and a 
fine bell purchased. The building is equipped with the Smith 
heating and ventilating system, a good supply of slate black- 
hoards and a sanitary water fountain. A first grade teacher 
has been employed for the past ten years, and the school is doing 
excellent work. District 21, according to C. A. Grimm, waa 
organized some forty-three years ago. The records have all 
been lost, and the memory of the old inhabitants is vague on the 
subject. District 53 is also one of the old districts of the county. 
James Joyce has interviewed a number of old settlers on the 
subject, among them being Patrick Conlon and wife, who came 
liere in 1860, and according to the information which he has 
gathered, there was a sod or sod and log schoolhouse in this 
district in the earliest times, and a Miss Anker was the first 
teacher. All records have been lost. June 3, 1873, a half acre 
in the southwest corner of the southeast quarter of section 9 was 
deeded to the district, and in 1897 the schoolhouse was moved 
from that location to the present site on the southwest corner of 
the southwest quarter of section 10. District 69, according to 
Fred Dickens, was organized in 1869, and a house built that year 
on the southeast corner of the southeast quarter of section 29. 
In 1879 it was moved to the southwest corner of the Northeast 
quarter of section 29. In 1890 a new schoolhouse was built across 
the street, in the northwest corner of the southeast quarter of 


section 29. The first teacher in the district was Ella Austin. 
Her father, Gus Austin, built the first schoolhouse. The records 
of the early days in the district has not been kept. District 77 
is treated at length in the history of the village of Grand Meadow. 

Clayton. The first school in Clayton town.ship was a summer 
term kept at the house of W. S. Root in 1872, by Mina Hanna. 
District 74. This district had the first schoolhouse in the town- 
ship. It was erected on the southwest quarter of section 28, and 
the first teacher was Henrietta Bevier. The house is now located 
on the southeast corner of section 28. District 83. A schoolhouse 
was erected in this district in the northwest corner of section 32 
in 1876. Miss D. K. Lee was the first teacher in this building. 
The present site is one-half a mile north. District 109. The first 
teacher in this district was G. G. Dallen. and the building is 
located in the south half of section 11. District 117. The school- 
house in this district is in the west half of section 25. It was 
built in March, 1885, and three months' school held before it was 
finished. It was then plastered and seats piit in, so that school 
was held that winter. The first teacher was Delia McDonnough. 
District 127. The pupils in this district attend school in the 
northwest quarter of section 8. The district was organized Jan- 
uary 4, 1900, and Sarah Seanlan was the first teacher. 

Lodi. District 67. The school in this district was the first in 
the township, and was built in 1868 on section 14, the first teacher 
being Nettie Spencer. This house was burned by a prairie fire 
in 1871. A new schoolhouse was erected in the same section abotit 
80 rods from the old site. Mary Gregory taught the first term 
of school in the new building. The modern schoolhouse now 
standing is equipped with the only school hot water heating 
plant in the county. District 96 was provided with a schoolhouse 
in 1876, located on section 29. A Miss Haley taught the first 
school. Prior to this, however, a school had been held at the 
home of John Hubbard by ]\Iaggie Carr. The district was organ- 
ized in 1865 through the efforts of John Hubbard, who gave one- 
half acre of ground for a building site. District 80. A school 
was erected in this district on section 26 some time before the 
organization of the district in 1877. Etta Bevier was the first 
teacher. In 1909 a modern building was erected on the old site. 
District 100 was organized in 1877 and a schoolhouse built oil the 
northeast cornc'r of the northwest quarter of section 7. Ella 
Smith was the first teacher in the house. A modern building 
now occupies the site. District 99 is the village school of Taopi 
and was organized in 1878. The first school in the village was 
laiuglit in the winter of 1877-78, in a private house. In 1880 a 
frame sclioolhouse was l)uilt in the village, the first teacher therein 
being Ida Wells. A two-roomed l)uilding has since been erected. 


Racine. The first school in this township was built in 1856. 
Rev. Thomas J. Lake was an early teacher. Old district 3. which 
included the present districts 35 and 36, was organized July 7, 
1856. The schoolhouses in Racine are located as follows: Dis- 
trict 30, southwest quarter of section 11 ; District 31, southeast 
quarter of section 7; District 32, southeast quarter of section 19; 
District 33, west half of section 27 ; District 34, village of Racine ; 
District 36, southeast quarter of section 5 ; District 64, southeast 
quarter of section 6 ; Di.strict 66, south half of section 34. District 
30. The records of this district have been lost. The old school- 
house stood on the northwest corner of the southwest quarter of 
section 11. In 1892 a new house was built on the southeast cor- 
ner of the same quarter. The first teacher in the new building 
was Jennie Kelly. For this information the publishers are 
indebted to Aug. Buekholz. District 31, like so many of the 
districts, has not preserved its early records. According to H. 0. 
Lewis, a schoolhouse was built in section 7 in 1863 and was burned 
in September, 1905. It was rebuilt the same fall on the old site. 
District 32 was organized in 1867. William Brown, clerk for fif- 
teen years, says: "The schoolhouse was built in 1868 and still 
stands on the same spot, although it has been raised and shingled. 
The early records were burned when Henry Schroeder's house was 
destroyed. We cannot find whether school was taught in 1868, but 
we think not. Alden Douglas taught in 1869-70. Frank Glover, 
now of Racine, taught the school in 1871. We came in 1868, but 
lived in section 8, Pleasant Valley, and did not move to section 24 
until 1870." District 33, according to L.H.Eastman, was organ- 
ized about 1860, and the schoolhouse erected the same year on the 
southwest corner of the south sixty of the northwest quarter of 
section 27. Miss Quigley was the first teacher. In 1884 a new 
schoolhouse was built on the corner of the north half of the south- 
west quarter of section 27. District 34 is treated elsewhere. Dis- 
trict 36, according to John Hovda and Arne Anderson, Avas organ- 
ized in 1857 and Mrs. Henry Moore was the first teacher, the board 
consisting of Ola Finhart, Sr., Hans Anderson and a IMr. Conkins. 
For two years school was taught in a farm house. In 1859 a log 
schoolhouse was built on the northwest corner of the northeast 
quarter of section 5, once Frankford, now Racine. A Miss Connor 
was the first teacher in this schoolhouse. This was truly a pioneer 
school, the seats being hewn out of logs. The funds were derived 
from local subscription. Until 1883 district 36 Avas three miles 
square. In that year the district was divided and District 64 set 
off. The school in section 36 stands on the southeast corner of 
section 5. District 64 was a part of District 36, as above. After 
the division in 1883 a schoolhouse was erected in section 6 in 1884, 
and here school has since been held. District 66 was organized in 


1869 and the sehoolhouse was built the same year in the southwest 
quarter of the southwest quarter of section 34. The first teacher 
was Mrs. S. B. Gove. In 1900 the sehoolhouse was rebuilt on the 
same site. 

Frankford. District 16. This district was originally organ- 
ized as District 1 and Avas the first district in the county. The 
first school taught in Frankford township was in a room over 
Francis Tebout's store in the village of Frankford in 1856. Miss 
Cunningham was the first teacher. The first sehoolhouse built in 
this district was in 1867. in section 24. It was built of stone. 
The first teacher was N. W. Boyes. District 17. The first per- 
manent school in this district was built in 1873, on section 36, and 
G. A. Elder taught the first school in this building. Prior to this 
time a temporary board shanty 12x14, costing $25, was used. The 
first teacher was Mrs. Lamberton, who taught three months at 
$25 a month. District 19. The first school in this district Avas 
taught by AV. F. Grummings, in 1857, in a log house built by 
Bothomel Canady, on the northwest quarter of section 22. In 

1870 the district erected a frame building on the northeast corner 
of the southeast quarter of section 21. District 35. The first 
sehoolhouse in this district was erected of logs in 1856, and was 
located on the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 11. The first teacher was either Frank Johnson or John Fell. 
In 1877 the log house was torn down and a new building erected. 
District 84. The first sehoolhouse in this district was erected in 
1877 in the northwest corner of section 34. The first teacher was 
Lyda Goodsell. District 97. This district was organized in 1876. 
The first teacher Avas A. S. Woodworth. The house is located in 
the southeast quarter of section 31. 

Bennington. District 3. The first school in this toAvnship Avas 
taught by Mary IMcKinney. A sehoolhouse Avas erected about 1860 
in the southeast quarter of section 30. A new modern building 
occupies the old site. District 85. A sehoolhouse Avas built in this 
district in 1874 and the first teacher Avas Clai'a Mehurin. District 
18. The sehoolhouse in this district Avas erected in 1875 on the 
southeast corner of the southAvest quarter of section 12. The 
sehoolhouse is noAV located one-half mile Avest of the old site. 
District 92. The sehoolhouse in this district was built in 1875 
on the southAvest quarter of section 25. The first teacher Avas 
Katie ^lehurin. District 95. The sehoolhouse in this district A\'as 
built in 1876, on the southwest quarter of section 8. The house is 
on the northAvest corner of section 9. District 102. A school- 
house was erected in 1877 on the northwest quarter of section 34. 
The first teacher Avas N. 0. BorsAvold. District 118. The school 
in this district is located in the Avest half of section 17. 

Le Roy. District 4. The early history of this district has 


already beon related. In 1871 the present site was selected and a 
building erected on the northeast corner of the northwest quar- 
ter of section 31. 'Around the schoolhouse in this district there 
still cling fond recollections of pioneer days. Here the Metho- 
dist Episcopal class was organized, and here the first revival 
meeting was held by Rev. Norton. Then there were the debating 
society gatherings and many other public meetings of much 
importance in the social and political life of the early days. 
District 1 had its first school within its present limits at the 
home of Henry Meyers in the summer of 1866. The school was 
taught by Adaline Gates. The next season Emma Klapper 
taught in the same house. In the summer of 1867 a stone school- 
house was erected on the southwest quarter of section 1. In 
this building Emma Peters taught the first term in the summer 
of 1868. A new modern building has been erected one-half mile 
west. District 59. This district at an early date was provided 
with a school, which was kept in the building of Elihu Morse, 
built for a granary. The first teacher was Syreua Lytle. In 
1868 the district erected a frame schoolhouse on the northeast 
corner of section 7, in which A. M. Maxfield taught the first 
school. In the fall of 1882 this building was moved to the south- 
west quarter of section 6. This district now has a beautiful 
modern building. District 52. The first school in this district 
was taught by Mrs. J. T. Williams in the summer of 1863 at 
J. M. Morse's house. That fall a house was built on the south- 
east quarter of section 18, in which John T. Williams was the 
first teacher. In 1869 a grout or concrete school building was 
erected on the southwest quarter of section 20, in which Julia 
Crittenden was the first teacher. A modern building now occu- 
pies the site. District 2. This district was provided with its 
first schoolhouse in 1861. It was located on the northwest 
quarter of section 9. The first teacher here was Flora Raynolds. 
In 1871 a new frame building was erected on the northeast quar- 
ter of section 9. James Pierce taught the first term of school in 
this house. The children from this district are now transported 
to the village school of Le Roy. District 79. This district had 
its first school in a house belonging to Charles jMcNeal, located 
on the northeast quarter of section 22. This was in 1870. Later 
the district purchased a log house from James Sample, together 
Avith an acre of land, on the northeast quarter of section 22. This 
was used a short time, after which a frame building was erected. 
A modern building now occupies the site. District 5, Le Roy 
village. The first school in this district was held in a house be- 
longing to Daniel Caswell, in the sunnner of 1857. That fall a 
stone schoolhouse was built in Die old villiige of Le Roy. Tliis 
building "served as schoolhouse, I'liiiicli and |)iililii' hall. AI'tiT 


the advent of the railroad and the building up of the new village 
of Le Roy this was sold to the Lutheran church organization and 
a new schoolhouse was erected. Le Roy now has a fine high 
school building. District 63. The first school in this district 
was taught in 1857 by Lydia Bonestell, in a small frame house, 
located in the southwest quarter of section 36. Soon afterward 
a small building was moved from Fillmore county and located 
on section 35. Serena Lytle and Mary Prentice were early teach- 
ers in this house. Later a frame building was provided near the 
same site, on the southeast corner of the southwest quarter of 
section 26. 

The first superintendent of schools of i\Iower county was J. B. 
Tollman. He was appointed by the county commissioners, Jan- 
uary 5, 1864, at an annual salary of $100, to serve one year, from 
September 1, 1864. He served until 1867. Following him the 
superintendents have been : Sherman Page, 1867-69 ; 0. T. Otis, 
1869-70; A. S. Pike, 1870; J. T. Williams, 1870-72; A. A. Har- 
wood, 1872-74; E. F. Morgan, 1874-75; N. M. Holbrook, 1875-77; 
A. H. Tuttle, 1877-81; C. D. Belden, 1881-90; Gertrude Ellis, 
1890-1900: Fannv Gies. 1900-07; Grace B. Sherwood. 1907. 



First Marriage — Hunting and Trapping— -Early Days in Cedar 
City — Pioneers of Frankf ord — Frontier Experiences by- 
Jacob S. Decker — Independence Celebration — Early Days in 
Lansing by 0. J. Rhoades. 

To some historians cold facts and exact dates alone are in- 
teresting. Others study the great underlying causes of the 
world's movements, and are interested in detailed events only 
as they constitute a visible effect of these eternal causes. But to 
tlie reader of local history nothing is so interesting as the remi- 
niscences of the old settlers, in which real actors in the stirring 
adventures of frontier days relate for the benefit of posterity 
llioso stories and anecdotes that form so intimate a jKU-t of the 
life of the pioneer, but which liiid no ))iacc in wi-itlen records. 
In preparing the "Hi.story of .Mower County" it has been the 
aim to gather as many ol' llusc I'cminiscences as possible, and 
tliey are here presented for the perusal of the present and future 
generations, that they may learn here the sunshine and shadows 
ill tlie lives of those wlio l)l;izc(l 1li(> trail for civilization to follow. 



The first mari'iage in Mower county was that of Caleb Stoek 
and Mary Watkins, Avigust 24, 1856. The golden anniversary 
of this event was celebrated in Austin, August 24, 1906, and on 
that occasion was read an address prepared by Mr. Stock. The 
address, in part, Avas as folloAvs : In i\Iay, 1856, a company was 
getting ready to go to IMinnesota, and among them were my 
friends from Burlington, AVis.. conspicuous among them being 
Mary Watkins. The AYatkins family, father and mother, five 
boys and three girls, were starting then to Mower county, Minne- 
sota, overland with prairie schooners. I took the railroad to 
the Mississippi, then the steamboat to Brownville, then the stage 
to Elliota and Frankford, and then on foot over the prairie to 
Austin. "VYe crossed Dobbin's creek and the Cedar river and 
found Austin, only a few log houses and a store, Yates & Lewis', 
with no hotel. I took my first meal with Father Brown, who 
was living in a tent and a Avagon. This was early in June, 1856. 
Mv. Lewis showed me around and took me down to see friends, 
Phelps and Chandler, who were boarding with Uncle Eben 
JMerry. Inquiring for the friends who were coming by schooner, 
I learned that they had not arrived. Soon, however, we heard 
that the caravan was in camp on Rose creek. The next morn- 
ing after, we surprised them by an early call. They were glad 
to find a haven of rest after six weeks, with ox team over wild 
prairies, crossing creeks and rivers without bridges. There were 
tvrenty-seveu in the company. Their hotel had been their camp- 
i;]g ground, and their bill of fare their own cooking by the camp 
fires. We all crossed the Cedar river at Tiff's ford, and here 
we built our first log house. There were no shingles in the 
country and we had hard work to find boards for our roof. We 
found some at Otranto, Iowa. We could get no lime to plaster 
with, but our house was up, and the next move was to get a wife. 
I went to Austin to find a minister, but the one who had been 
there was gone. This fact was a great setback to me. I learned 
there was a justice of the peace in town, 'Squire Smith. I found 
him and told him my business. He thought he could do the job 
correctly. The day was settled, Augvist 24, 1856, and 'Squire 
Smith tied the loiot so tight it was never broken. Father Wat- 
kins settled on the farm now owned by David Watkins. Caleb 
Stock and John PJielps erected a saw mill at Cedar City in 1856, 
and in 1857 Ave added a run of burrs to grind Avheat and corn. 

In 1856 the AvintiT Avas the most severe I can remember. In 
1856 and the early ])art of 1857, times were good but money 
failed, and the iHttcr part of 1857 it Avas hard to get it at from 
25 to 40 pel- cent interest. The crop of 1857 Avas a failure. 


Scarcely any wheat was raised, and the corn was frost-bitten. 
Supplies came mostly from West Union and Auburn, Iowa, where 
Ave secured our first stock for housekeeping. We brought the 
outfit with two ox teams over the prairies and through the 
streams. In 1858, the spring and most of the summer were very 
wet, and in August our mill Avas washed down the river. Pro- 
visions were very scarce. Streams were high, and we could not 
get out for supplies. We were nearly destitute. I remember 
well Avheu we started with five teams for flour and corn meal. 
Those who were to share in the supplies left their bags with old 
Mr. Brown at the store. He numbered them and arranged 
them in order to be filled when the goods came. We had to go 
nearly to Mississippi for our goods, and some families lived on 
little but fish until we returned. There were a few Indians about 
during our first years, and my wife was very much alarmed 
lest they should take away our little babe, Ella. 

Our early markets were LaCrosse and McGregor. We had to 
pay $1 a bushel for potatoes, oats, corn or Avheat. The first 
wheat Avo sold we drcAV to the ]\Iississippi and sold for fifty cents 
per bushel. Eggs brought four cents a dozen, dressed pork .$2.50 
per hundred in ]\Ic6regor. Cows Avere worth $10 to $20 each. 
Men's AA-ages Avere from fifty cents to $1 a day. Money still 
brought 25 per cent interest in 1858-59. 

But those pioneer days have passed and the ox cart is sup- 
planted by more modern vehicles. The market of the world is 
at the end of our telephone. We have battled Avith fate and 
with the elements and avc noAV enjoy the moniunents that our 
struggles have builded. 


Tlie folloAving i'l'oiu tlic pen of S. D. ^lead, Avhile difl:'ering 
from generally accepted historical accounts, is nevertheless in- 
teresting as coming in evident sincerity from one Avho claimed 
to have visited the present site of Austin in 1853. The "Austin 
Nickles" spoken of therein is evidently the Austin Nichols Avho 
Avas the first settler on the present townsite of Austin. 

'The first Avintc innii tliat came to Aiistin was Austin Nickles, 
wlio <'niii(' as a Imiitcr in 1lii' fall of 1852 from his home in Clay- 
ton county. Towa. 'I'lie next fall, 1853. he came back to this 
locality, and 1 caiuc with him. T Avas then fourteen years old. 
Nickles sflecti-d a claiui enihracing a part of Avhere Austin now 
stands. Thai a\ inter we look nine ])uft"alo skins and many deer, 
mink, otter and hcavei', but F do not knoAv hoAV many. I do 
remember that Avhat T killed Nickles gave me, and I sold them 
Avhen T reached home for $190 in gold. I got one elk near Avhere 


the Mihvaukee station now stands that measured nine feet from 
tip to tip. I have hunted some in my life, but I was never in 
a place where the game was so plentiful and where such a great 
variety was to be found. At that time we could get out and 
kill a deer in an hour any tin\e in the morning or evening, and 
we did kill all that we wanted. Prairie chickens were plenty, 
and geese and ducks could be found in any place on the river. 
Mink, otter and beaver were plenty, with now and then a 
panther, but the latter were scarce. Prairie wolves were every- 

"The next year (1854) Nickles sold his claim and went to 
Blue Earth. The next year (1855) my step-father (Horace Sil- 
ver) with four other families moved to Austin. Robert Autis, 
Lym. Gifford, Wilson King and the widow Lockwood, each with 
their families, comprised the company, but the latter did not 
settle here. The rest took claims along Turtle creek, Autis and 
King near the mouth, Gitford about due south of the present fair 
grounds, and my step-father, Horace Silver, took his claim 
farther up the creek, near the large boiling spring on the west 
side. My step-father worked for Chauncey Leverich that sum- 
mer in a saw mill which stood about ten rods down the river from 
wliere the grist mill now stands, and on the same side of the 

"My step-father owned oxen, as did also Autis, and with these 
I helped break the first ground ever broken in or near Austin, 
O. "W. Shaw's residence stands on the east side of the first 
twenty acres of land ever broken in Austin. There was con- 
siderable heavy timber along the Cedar, and a little south of 
where the packing liouse now stands there was a maple sugar 
camp where the Indians made sugar. The Sioux Indians Jmd 
their camp on the ])ank in front of the 0. W. Shaw residence, 
a little to the south. In the winter of 1855 and 1856 there Avere 
about 200 Sioux Indians wintered on the bottom lands in back 
of the Gibson hotel. There was heavy tiniber there then. The 
Indians and the whites were always friendly." 


In regard to early d^iys in Slower '•ounty, my wife and I 
drove from Burlington, Racine county, Wis., with a team of 
liorses, to find a home in the territory of ^linnesota. "We arrived 
at David Chandler's farm, October 13, 1856. In the spring of 
that year I was married to Hannah Phelps, the daughter of 
-Jerimiah and Margarette Phelps, who moved to iMower county, 
from Burlington, Wis., with tlie following families: Thomas Bor- 
mella, George and AVilliam Phelps, Diadamy and ]\Iary Phelps 


and John "Watkins and family, composed of eight sons and 
daughters. John Phelps had preceded them and was on the 
ground with E. Merry and family, David and John Chandler, 
John Osborne and family, Caleb Stock and a Mr. Smith. The 
two last named with John Phelps composed the mill company. 
Next came Welcome Osborne and his family, also Joshua Welch 
and Abijah Pinkham with their families. These with a Mr. 
McKee and Means comprised the neighborhood settlement in 
the winter of 1856-57. In the spring came Welcome Chandler 
and Andrew Gemmel and tlioir families. Before my wife and I 
arrived, Caleb Stock and Mary Watkins had spent their honey- 
moon. After their marriage John Phelps went back to Racine 
county, AVisconsin, and tliere married a INIiss Lyon, which made 
another very valuable addition to our young but growing society. 
Then Timothy Gosley won the affections of Ann Watkins. These 
three were the first on the list of marriages of Cedar City. 
Cedar City mill Avas pushed to completion and began grinding 
in due time. But alas, the June freshet took the pioneer mill 
down with its rapid current and our young city grew no more 
and like many western towns ceased to live. 

Several houses were erected by these families. The first 
covering for houses were indeed novel, hay, bark, rails and sod. 
Abraham Dickerson and father built the first good frame 
liouse and barn in the community. A school house was built on 
land owned by Caleb Stock. The logs and other timber were 
donated by the settlers, and it was built in the spring of 1857. 
Diadamy Phelps was the first teacher; she afterward married 
John B. Niles, who owned Tefts mill property. Stephen and 
David Chandler, Solomon Custer, and John and Evan Watkins 
also married early school teachers of Cedar City. 

The earliest birth, I think, was a son born to ]\Ir. and Mrs. 
«Tohn Osborne. The second, a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Alfred 
Cressey, and perhaps the third to Mr. and Mrs. Caleb Stock. 

Perhaps it may be of interest to record the style of preparing 
breadstuff in those early times — no mills, no railroads and 
pretty nearly no food at times. Personally, I went to Austin 
three times, with money in my pocket, to buy flour, and finally 
succeeded in getting eleven pounds of flour of old Mr. Brown of 
the Log Store. When corn was nearing maturity the settlers 
took tin pans and punched holes through the bottom, and upon 
these circular graters managed to get enough corn grated to 
furnisli bread Un- a time till they could do better. Welcome 
Chandler hollowed out a Iol''. i)ut it in the ground, attached a 
sweep similar to a well swcc]) and by means of a pounder, work- 
ing like a druggist "s nioi'tjM-, succeeded in pounding out corn, 
wbicli irood Sistei- ( 'Imiullei- iiiiide into a first-rate "Johnny 


cake." Others resorted to their coffee mills aud ground corn in 

The settlement saw close times financially as the days one by 
one rolled away. Money was hard to obtain, and the money 
loaners often charged as high as three or four per cent a month 
for loans on the very best of security. 

Among the first of the good men to preach the gospel were 
Eevs. Beach and Loomis. The traveling peachers of that time 
Avere Revs. Mapes and J. L. Dyer, of the Methodist denomination. 
Rev. Dyer held a "protracted meeting" in the log school house 
which his own hands helped to make. He had a voice which 
could be readily heard a half mile away. Most of the neighbor- 
hood were converted and a grand reformation followed. I did 
not like him, he was too rough ; a sample of his talk, by way 
of introduction to me, was: "You are going to hell, ain't you?" 
However, I attended his meetings afterward, and now honor 
him for his work's sake. In those early times we were building 
and found it best to use oxen and carts for drawing logs, etc. 
One night I took my young wife and babe on one of these rude 
carts and went to meeting. On going home we had to cross the 
creek, and my wife with her babe in her arms slipped off the 
cart, but she held on to the babe with one hand and to the cart 
with the other, the oxen drawing her and the infant to the shore. 

I can testify to the good, honest work of Brother John L. 
Dyer, the pioneer preacher. God honored him by his brethren 
of a frontier conference sending him as a delegate to the general 
conference. I joined afterwards under another preacher in 

Such are a few of the notes in early days. Jeremiah 
and M. Phelps had four sons in the Civil war. Mr. AVatkins two, 
Essler two and Chandler one. So I think Cedar City and her 
people have done something for God and our country worthy a 
place in the history of Mower county. — Alfred Cressy. 


]\Iy father, James B. Glover, Avith his family of four children, 
three daughters and one son, moved to the then far "West, from 
Skancatels, Onondaga county, N. Y., arriving at Frankford 
Minn.. June, 1856. There were but few houses to be seen here 
at that time, but new arrivals were quite frequent and houses 
went up as if touched by magic hand. AYhere in early morning 
would be a bare clearing at nightfall the gleam of a lighted 
candle could l)e seen from the windows of some rude yet cosy 
cabin home, showing the progress of a single day. 

The first church in iMower county was built here tlie Jiext 


year, the principals in the work being Elders Reeves and Wal- 
dron. The following Avinter it was formally dedicated as a house 
of worship. About the same time Frank Teabout built the first 
public hall. This was 24x60 feet. It was used that Christmas 
day and evening for a ball, over 100 couples being present. Mrs. 
Heidel, an aunt of the proprietor, and Henry Metzgar provided 
the bountiful supper for the gay and happy company. 

The company was composed of all classes, from Fillmore and 
i\rower counties. Goodly numbers came from Austin and Chat- 
field. The music was furnished by our own home pioneer band, 
the greater part of Avhom were married men living near here, 
George Hunt, Samuel ]Metcalf, Hazard Titus and Gideon Sherman 
being among the number who constituted this band. 

We had a good and large school at this point that winter. 
It numbered about seventy pupils. Professor Hotehkiss, of Ober- 
lin, Ohio, was the teacher, with myself as his assistant. At that 
time we had the county seat at this place and felt quite im- 
portant. But the county seat honors were taken away from us, 
and our dreams were not realized. — Mrs. Matilda Lamb. 


At the time of my arrival in Minnesota, and settlement east 
of Austin, in 1856, there were but two stores in Austin. J. B. 
Yates and V. P. Lewis were the proprietors of one and A. B. 
Vaughan of the other. One was located on the corner of Mill 
and Chatham streets and tlie other was south of where J. F. 
Fairbanks now has his warehouse. A. B. Vaughan was post- 
master. Mr. Day had a blacksmith shop built of logs on the 
corner of Main and Water streets. Chauncey Leverieh, com- 
monly called "Chance," liad a saw mill located about where 
A. S. Campbell's mill is now standing. George H. Beemis had 
a shoe store on the corner of Chatham and ]\Iill streets. Frank 
Blank had a shingle machine located where the electric light 
and pumping station is now located. There was a log hotel 
located on Water street, between Franklin and Chatham streets. 
At the time T ai'i-ivcd there were no clnirches or schoolhouses. 

Til 1h(' moiiUi of June, on a beautiful Sunday morning, we 
lieard the sermon in Austin preached by a ^Methodist min- 
ister iiauicd Erastus Mapcs. Tlic meeting Avas held in a frame 
house which I\lr. Levciidi was l)uilding for a hotel. In August, 
Rev. Stephen Cook arrived in vVustin from 01)erlin, Oiiio, with 
a commission from tlie American Home Missionary Society to 
organize a Congregational eluirch. He held meetings in private 
houses nntj] Avinter. Ijate tliat fall the town people erected a 


building called "Headquarters," foi- a store and mccliii>;' place, 
and for day school and Sunday school. 

The second trip I made from home after arriving in Austin 
was to "Winona with two yoke of oxen for lumber for this "Head- 
quarters" building. I arrived home October 34 and found that 
the prairie fires had sAvept the whole county in my absence. 

During the summer of 1856 I joined ox teams with one of my 
neighbors and broke about fifteen acres, on Avhieli I raised some 
buckwheat. In December, John "Willson, one of my neighbors, 
joined teams with me, took my wood-shod sled and started Avith 
my buckwheat for Preston, Fillmore county. Arriving at Carri- 
mona, we found a grist mill and exchanged the buckwheat for 
flour. "\Ve obtained wheat flour, corn meal and shorts, and started 
for home. Ours was the last team to cross the prairie between 
Frankford and Austin that winter. The road between Austin 
and High Forest and thence to ^\"inoua was kept open all winter. 
The county seat Avas then at Frankford. 

In the spring of 1857, I sold my two yoke of oxen and took 
up a note I had given to pre-empt my land. Consequently I had 
no team. I raised corn enough that season to trade for a yoke 
of oxen with John Phelps. In the summer of 1857 I exchanged 
work with mj"- neighbors and had sixteen acres broken. In the 
winter of 1857-58 I cut and split oak rails enough to exchange 
with George N. Coukey for fourteen bushels of seed wheat. T 
sowed the wheat in the spring of 1858. In the fall I cradled and 
bound, threshed and cleaned, and thus secured seven bushels of 
wheat all told. In the spring of 1859 I sowed that seven bushels 
and never raised better wheat. That same spring a party con- 
sisting of James T. Sargent, Hugo ]\Iills, John Whalasky, "Will- 
iam Baker and myself went to Ilesper, a Quaker settlement in 
Iowa, and secured flour, corn meal and middlings. In the fall 
of 1860 I went to Mitchell county, Iowa, for flour. This time I 
took wheat of my own raising. That same fall I exchanged my 
yoke of oxen and a small stack of wild hay for a three-year-old 
Arabian horse. I also exchanged 120 bushels of wheat for a 
three-year-old mare. The first trade was made with James 
Carver and the latter with Abraham Lott. Then I had no har- 
ness. I worked for a neighbor, John "Watkins, and took a mule- 
iron tug harness for pay. This harness had no lines, but I 
bought a bell cord and made a pair of lines which I used two 
years. In the latter part of December, 1862, I loaded forty 
bushels of wheat and a 400-pound dressed hog for a merchant of 
Austin, George B. Hayes, and started for Winona, our nearest 
wheat market. "When about luilf way between Brownsdale and 
Beaubien Grove the tire on one of the wheels of my wagon 
liroke. I stopped immediately. There 1 was. all alone. The 


around was frozen hard and there "was no snow. But fortune 
favors the brave. The porker was on top of my load. I took the 
end boards out of my wagon box, piled up the wheat sacks as 
high as the bottom of my box, slid the hog out on sacks, un- 
leaded the balance of the wheat, and then took the broken tire 
and returned to Brownsdale, where I had it set. Then I went 
back as far as Mr. Tanner's, the last farm house, and there 
stayed all night. The next morning after breakfast I started for 
my load of wheat and pork. "When I reached the spot everything 
was as I had left it, and the prairie Avolves had not scented the 
feast. I backed up to the pile of wheat, slid the hog in the box, 
reloaded the pile of wheat and made another start for Winona, 
Avhich place 1 reached Avithout further mishap. 

In the winter of 1865-66, I think it was in January, Obadiali 
Smith, A. V. Ellis and myself planned to start on a Friday 
morning for Casson with wheat. In the morning it looked very 
stormy, so I was the only one that started. I arrived in Casson 
in time to sell and unload my wheat. That night it snowed all 
night. I started for home the next morning. The roads were 
badly drifted. When I came to the last farm house I had the 
farmer go with me and start me across the lone prairie. After 
looking around, he advised me to go back with him and stay 
until Monday morning. This was Saturday afternoon. I did 
so. Monday morning was cloudy and it looked like snow. There 
was nothing to guide me, no sun Avas visible, and it Avas not less 
than fifteen miles to the settlement north of BroAvnsdale. How- 
ever, I started. There Avas no evidence of the summer road to 
guide me. The grass, weeds and hazel bushes Avere all snoAved 
under. The railroad had been finished to Casson the fall ])efore. 
After I had gone about tAvo miles, it w^as apparent that the team 
was lost. I stopped, tied the lines to the box, dropped on my 
knees and prayed to the Lord to guide, the horses to the settle- 
ment on the other side of the prairie. I did not touch the lines, 
but let the team go as thej' pleased, and did not hurry them. 
In the afternoon T came to the settlement about one mile north 
of the right road. I Avas very happy after striking tlie right 
road. That is the only time I Avas ever lost. 

In February, 1865, James T. Sargent, George N. Conkey, 
Henry Carter, Isaac N. Peterman, Hugh IMills, James Mills and 
myself started for St. Paul Avith loads of oats. The Avheeling 
was good, and all the ground, except the roads, Avas about cov- 
ered Avith snow. We sold our oats in St. Paul and drove across 
the country to Minneapolis. That Avas my first trip to the TAvin 
Cities. The rest of tlie parly loaded tlicir wagons Avith lumber 
for a Methodist chui'di. 1 loaded mine Avith pine siding and 
flooring to finisli an addilioii to my lionse. 


May 5. my house was destroyed by fire and we lost every- 
thing except AA'^hat we had on our backs. The building was 
insured with the Madison Mutual of Wisconsin for $300. In Au- 
gust of the same summer, I took a load of wheat to Winona, 
accompanied by our oldest son, Calvin. We camped out along 
the way and slept under our wagon nights, except when in the 
city. At AYinona we sold our wheat, purchased a carload of lum- 
ber, and shipped it by rail to Rochester. We followed the train 
to Rochester, unloaded the lumber, brought a load home and 
finished the house in time to move in November 16. 

My wife helped me in all my work until the boys were old 
enough to take her place. With heroic fortitude she loaded and 
stacked hay and grain, cut corn, dug potatoes, milked the cows 
and did her housework. My Avife and I are charter members of 
the Congregational church of Aiistin, Avhich we helped to organ- 
ize July 6, 1857. We also had the pleasure of assisting in the 
celel)ration of the fiftieth anniversary, July 6, 1907. I am a life 
member of the American Board of Foreign Missions, a life mem- 
ber of the American Home IMissionary Society, a member of the 
JMinnesota Territorial Pioneers' Association; helped to organize 
the Austin Co-operative Creamery Association, and Avas its first 
president; was president of the Mower County Old Settlers' 
Association eighteen years, and have been a member of the Aus- 
tin toAvn board for a number of terms, as well as town treasurer 
and a justice of the peace. — Jacob S. Decker. 


M. J. Slaven has furnished this Avork AA'ith an interesting 
account of an early Fourth of July celebration in Rose Creek. 
'"What an event our first Fourth of July celebration was to 
those of us who had knoAvn no play for a year! It was the 
people along Rose Creek Avho took the lead. A fcAV days before 
the Fourth we called our neighbors together to prepare for the 
coming of the great day. Mrs. Aaron Draper and i\Irs. Catherine 
Slaven were appointed as a flag committee. They procured their 
OAvn material and experienced something of the satisfaction and 
joy of Betsy Ross at the wonderful results accomplished. Mrs. 
Patrick 0']Malley, Mrs. Thomas Smith, Mrs. Stephen Sutton and 
]\Irs. AndrcAv Robertson planned the feast and the men AA'ent at 
their Avork Avith zeal. At sunrise on the Fourth the sound of 
Draper's anvil awoke the echoes and people began to gather at 
the O'Malley farm, near the site of the i)resent village of Rose 
Creek. People came from Austin, BroAvnsdale, Frankford, Le 
Roy, Nevada, and in fact from the whole length of Rose Creek. 
AVhat a jolly crowd it was that greeted our tiag, Avhich floated 


from the top of an oak tree which had been stripped of its 
branches. There was a program, of course. Thomas Smith read 
the Declaration of Independence. James Slaven delivered the 
oration and then came a bountiful dinner, followed by games and 
races. Then the tables were spread again, for we were a healthy, 
hungry race, and though not epicurean in our tastes the joys of 
the table certainly appealed to us. As evening came on the 
older people prepared to go home. Not so the younger ones, 
who clamored for a dance. The Fourth did not end for them 
until the dawn of the following day, when after a hot breakfast 
they were obliged to start for home. Perhaps it was this gath- 
ering more than any other which promoted a feeling of interest 
in one another among the people, and that interest has not 
entirely died out, as witnessed by the yearly gathering of the 
steadily decreasing circle of those who are privileged to call 
themselves old settlers." 


Clymer, Chautauqua county, N. Y., was the place of my birth, 
September 17, 1845. From there I moved with my parents to 
Warren county, Pennsylvania, and stayed six years. Then, in 
the fall of the year, our family started for Iowa with a team. 
After a long journey we reached Maquoketa, Jackson county, the 
night before Christmas. Then we went to a farm near where 
Delmar Junction is now located. There we stayed four years. 
Then we changed our horses for two yoke of oxen, and made our 
way to Gundy county, Iowa. We arrived there in May, 1856. 
We did not like the place, however, and in August of that year 
we started for Minnesota. We found a place that suited us and 
on August 25, 1856, we pitched our tent in what is now section 
22, Udolpho township. There we started to make a home. 
When we reached here father had two yoke of oxen, one cow, 
and thirty-five cents in money. The third day after we arrived 
father was taken ill with malaria and rheumatism and had to be 
helped to get out of bed. We badly needed some hay cut for 
the winter use of the cattle. I mowed what I could, but I was 
barely eleven years old, my eleventh birthday coming in Sep- 
tember of that year. Mother bunched up what hay I could mow 
and then we hauled it and stacked it around some crotches and 
poles, thus making a place to sleep in. We had the stove in a 
tent made of the wagon cover. We had an early frost and this 
killed the grass, so I could cut no more hay. Then I started to 
cut logs for a house, father being just well enough to get out and 
show me how. Our first visitors were five Indians on horseback, 
who seemed mucli interested in al! tluit we were doing. Later 


the forest fires began to run. I secured a plow and plowed some 
guards. I thought this made us safe, but one windy day a fire 
came and while mother and I were getting father where it was 
safe the fire jumped the guards and burned everything we had, 
except the clothes on our bodies, and even those clothes were 
of the very poorest. I went out and found the frightened oxen 
and took father and the rest to one of the neighbors, where we 
spent the night. The next day we went to Austin and sold one 
pair of oxen, thus securing money to buy provisions and clothes. 
While we were gone the neighbors had been about and gathered 
some bedding and clothing for us, so with what we purchased 
we managed to get along. Some of the men from Lansing came 
and cut logs, with which they built us the body of a house, one 
story high. We laid some poles across and a neighbor loaned us 
a tent to put over for a roof. We chinked the cracks and plas- 
tered the logs with mud, and in this edifice we lived, keeping 
the cattle in the other end. In November I went to Brownsdale 
and got a load of oak timber for floors and doors. Provisions 
were scarce and high. Corn meal was $5 a hundred and pork 
$15 a hundred. Flour we did not dare even think of. Winter 
set in early and very cold. We had to sell our last team and 
wagon to get food and clothing for the winter. In the spring 
we wanted to get some breaking done. It cost us $5 an acre. 
Wages were fifty cents a day, when one was fortunate enough to 
get work. Father secured the use of two yoke of oxen for 
br,eaking ten acres each. Then he joined with another man who 
had two yoke and secured a twenty-four-inch grub plow and 
broke all summer. Thus we lived through the summer. I drove 
four yoke of oxen and father worked out when he could find 
anything to do, in the meantime doing things to make the house 
more comfortable. Our clothes wore out and mother colored 
cotton meal sacks with bark and made dresses for herself and 
the girls, and trousers and jumpers for father and me. We 
killed game and caught fish for food, and had one cow to furnish 
milk. The second winter father worked at burning charcoal. 
He also had some traps made and caught animals, from which he 
sold some fur. W^ith this money we purchased a little flour and 
some clothing. In the spring I worked four days for a bushel 
of potatoes, so small that each one would go through an inch 
tiole. But they made good seed and we raised good potatoes, 
[n the spring of 1859 father had $15, which he had received from 
curs. With this he hoped to buy a hog, but the man who brought 
ihem in from Iowa wanted fourteen cents a pound and would not 
cut one up. So we could not buy. But a man said he Avould 
sell a three-year-old cow for $15, so we brought the cow home. 
This we traded for a four-year-old bull. Soon avo j)urchased 


another bull at Brownsdale for $17 and broke in the pair to 
work together. We had a wagon, so we made a wooden sled, 
which had to answer for freight and pleasure. Then we joined 
with two of our neighbors and broke ten acres apiece. One of 
the neighbors had a stag and a cow for his team, the other had a 
good yoke of oxen, and we had the bulls. In the spring of 1862 
we sowed fifteen acres to wheat and broke some more land. 
August 9 we commenced to harvest. Father cut with a cradle, 
mother raked in the sheaves, and I bound, while the two girls 
placed it in shocks. That day father enlisted in Company C, 
Ninth Minnesota Volunteer Infantrj', and went to Ft. Snelling, 
from which place he went out after the Indians. Mother and I 
harvested the crop. I cradled, mother raken in, and then would 
carry the cradle back and I would bind it. This took a long 
time. Father came home on a furlough and helped stack it. 
Then I secured a threshing machine and threshed it. We had 
no granary, so I laid iip a rail pen and thatched the sides and 
roof with straw and put the wheat in. We needed some clothing 
and desired to change the wheat into money. So we had to get 
it taken to Winona. I could not haul with my team, so we hired 
a neighbor to take a load for us. He charged twenty-five cents 
a bushel. When we reached Winona all he could get for it was 
thirty cents a bushel. It cost seven cents to get it threshed. 
So he took it to the Stewartville mill and had it ground into 
flour. He gave me half the flour and kept the bran and the 
shorts to feed his team. That is the way I made money. But I 
got enough to eat and managed to get along. Father went 
south with his regiment and was taken prisoner at the battle of 
Guntown. Pie was starved to death by the rebels in Milan 
prison. I stayed in Udolpho, paid for the place and took care 
of mother and furnished a home for the girls until they were 
married and had homes of their own. Mother died January 1, 
1910. I have never had time to get married, so I am still single. 
—0. J. Rhoades. 




City Founded at the Old Water Ford — Coming- of Austin Nichols 
— Arrival of Chauncey Leverich — Beginning of Settlement — 
Platting the Village — Pioneer Days — Important Events — Mur- 
der of Chauncey Leverich — Stories of the Small Beginnings 
of What Has Become an Important City. 

Austin, the county seat of Mower county, is situated, broadly 
speaking, in sections 2, 3, 10 and 11, in Austin township, and 
sections 34 and 35, in Lansing township. The exact incorporate 
limits are as follows: 

All of section 3 ; the north half and the southwest quarter, 
and the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 2 ; 
the northeast quarter of section 10 ; and the northwest quarter 
of section 11, all in township 102, range 18. Also the south half 
of the south half of section 34, and the south half of the south- 
west quarter, and the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter 
of section 35. Also a strip of land, 40 feet wide, oE from the 
west side of the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of 
same section 34. Also the land within and known as Oakwood 
cemetery, being in the southwest corner of the northeast quarter 
of the same section 34, township 103, range 18. 

The city is three miles from the western line of the county and 
midway- north and south. It is built on both the east and the 
west banks of the Red Cedar river, which raises in Dodge county 
to the north and flows south into the state of Iowa. Austin was 
laid out in the fall of 1855 by Chauncey Leverich and A. B. 
Vaughan. and regularly platted in the spring of 1856. 


The first settler on the present site of the city of Austin was 
Austin Nichols, who located here in 1853. He sold his claim in 
1854 to Chauncey Leverich. 

Chauncey Leverich was a young man. from twenty-five to 
thirty years of age. naturally bright and ambitious, with an eye 
to business. He pre-empted 160 acres of land, described as fol- 
lows : The south one-half of the northwest quarter of section 3, 
and the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of the same 
section, and the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of 
section 2. The latter piece of hind inclndcd the mill site. He 
immediately commenced building a saw mill, whieh was com- 


pleted early the next year. He started in business with good 
prospects, but his career was suddenly brought to an end in 1856. 

During the same year, 1854, the following named came: D. J. 
Tubbs, Benedict Brown, Robert Dobbins, David L. and Willard 
Smith, and a inan named Pinkham. Late in 1854, or early in 
1855, Winfield Loveland and Francis Stuhfell came. 

D. J. Tubbs was born in Steuben county, New York, in 1825. 
On coming to this county he entered and bought land in this 
vicinity, but continued to work at his trade. He built a saw mill 
in 1854 on the site of the present flouring mill of Engle & Co. lu 
1856 he built a saw mill for himself about one and a half miles 
south of Austin on the Cedar river. These were among the first 
mills erected in ]\Iower county. Mr. Tubbs remained in Austin, 
engaged in contracting and building, and became a substantial 

Benedict Brown was a son of Aloysius Brown. He erected a 
small frame building near Fay R. Smith's residence and enter- 
tained travelers for a time. He pre-empted the northwest of 
section 3. In January, 1856, he sold three forties of this land to 
Yates & Lewis. He remained a resident of the place two or 
three years. He afterwards engaged in farming in Lansing. 
In 1879 he removed to the Dakotas. 

Robert Dobbins claimed the southwest of section 3. In the 
fall of 1855 he sold to David Oliver. He then went to Lansing 
and later to Clarksville. Butler county, Iowa. 

David L. Smith was born in Genesee county. New York, Jan- 
uary 22, 1820. In 1854 he and his wife, Emma Tierney, started 
in a prairie schooner to seek a home in the territory of Minne- 
sota. He arrived at Chauncey Leverich's house on October 19. 
He had left his family in Fayette county, Iowa. After remaining 
here two weeks, returned for his family, bringing them to Mower 
county. They spent the winter on the present site of the city of 
Austin. In the spring of 1855 he built a cabin on his claim in 
the town of Lansing; lived there a few months, then purchased 
eighty acres in section 2, town of Austin, where he lived ten 
years, after which he sold and bought a farm in section 5, town 
of Windom. 

Willard Smith, brother of David L., spent the winter of 
1854-55 in Austin. He afterward settled in section 2, where he 
resided until the time of his death. 

Pinkham made but little impress upon Austin, and after a 
short time departed without leaving even a record of his first 
name or initials. 

Winfield Loveland was a blacksmith by trade. He purchased 
a piece of land now occupied by ]Mrs. G. jM. Cameron and there 
erected a set of log l)uil(liiigs. He was a lover of fast horses. 


and was the owner of a running horse that was so well trained 
that after having been once led over a piece of road he would go 
over the same stretch to beat another horse or against time 
without a rider. Loveland remained here but two or three years. 
After his removal the stable which he had used was taken down 
and moulds for making gold and silver coins were found secreted 
between the logs. It was remembered that he had several times 
passed counterfeit money, but had always willingly redeemed it, 
and thus avoided trouble. 

Francis Stuhfell was a Canadian Frenchman. He purchased 
the lot later occupied by Sylvester Smith's family. He erected a 
shanty and made shingles for a time. In the fall of 1855 he sold 
to Sylvester Smith and located elsewhere. He went away with 
Loveland. A part of the time while living here he kept a saloon. 


The people who spent the Avinter of 1854-55 here were obliged 
to subsist to quite an extent on wild game, which was quite 
abundant. The spring of 1855 opened with brighter prospects, 
quite a number of settlers coming that year. Among those that 
came were the following: George and Oliver Bemis, J. B. Yates, 
V. P. Lewis, Sylvester Smith, Levi Watrous, Abe Haveling and 
"Wild Cat" Brown, G. W. Mason and a man named Hayes. 

George Bemis settled on the lot east of Sylvester Smith's place ; 
was one of the men prominently connected with the "stealing of 
the county seat." He was an honored resident of the county 
until 1869. when he removed to Utah, where he engaged in 
mining. His death occurred there in August, 1884. 

Oliver Bemis, from Maine, in 1855 pre-empted 160 acres near 
the present city, built a shanty and started breaking the land. 
The following year he sold this land and purchased a farm in 
section 11. Four years later he sold this place and bought a 
farm in section 3, Windom township, at about the same time 
starting, with his brother George, the first shoe store in Austin. 

J. B. Yates and V. P. Lewis were both natives of York state 
and of a speculative turn of mind, and were engaged in business 
here for many years. Yates continued to reside in Austin. 
Lewis remained here iintil 1882, when he removed to Hopkins, 
Mo., where he engaged in mercantile trade. 

Sylvester Smith was from Canada. He purchased Stuhfell's 
place. He snon became prominent in county affairs and remained 
a resident of Austin until his death. 

Abe Haveling (or Haling) Avas a hlacksinith by trade, was 
one of a roving disposition; remained here but a short time. 

"Wild Cat" Brown was a frontiersman of the roughest type. 


Civilizcitioii did not seem to agree with hiiu, so he left iu 1856. 

G. W. Mason purchased an interest in the town plat from 
Leverich. It was he with Vaughan that had the race to Frank- 
ford to beat Yates and Lewis and get their plat recorded first, 
but like otliers that raced with the same parties got left. 

Levi Watrous was from Iowa and with his brother had a claim 
in section 12. He lived here about two years. Afterward he 
entered the ministry. He was a chaplain in the army. The last 
heard from he was near Elkader, la., pastor of an Adventist 
clnu'ch. It is said that iu the spring of 1855 Watrous. Leverich 
and ]Mason were one day sitting under a tree speculating as to 
the future of the place and during the conference named it 
Austin, in honor of Austin Nichols, the first settler. The place 
at the time was known as Leverich 's mill. 

Hayes was generally called Black Hayes, to distinguish him 
from G. B. Hayes. He was a speculator in land; remained here 
but a short time. 


In 1856 the following named were among those who came: 
J. H. McKinley, Charles Ferris, George E. AVilbour, Solomon 
Snow, R. L. and W. S. Kimball, Orlenzer and Ormanzo Allen, 
Joshua L. Davidson, Hiram L. Coon, G. B. Hayes, D. B. Johnson, 
Jr., Aaron S. Everest, G. ]\I. Cameron, Colbert C. Hanehett, 
Loyal AV. Sjirague, Dr. J. N. Wheat, Rev. Stephen Cook and his 
son, John F., Harvey M. Allen, Samuel Little, S. W. Rice, Luther 
S. Morgan, James C. Ackley, Albert Galloway and L. N. Griffith. 

J. H. McKinley cMinc early in Ihc spring and purchased a 
frame bnilding. which he opened as a hotel, the first in the place. 
He managed it but a few months, when he sold and moved to 
^Mitchell county, Iowa. 

Charles Ferris Avas ]\lcKinley 's son-inJaw. He came at the 
saiii(> time and went away witli him. lie was a carpenter by 

Solomon Snow and George E. Wilbour were from j\Iassachu- 
setts. They Ijonght the liotel fi-oni :McKinley and entertained 
travelers three years, wlicn Wilbour returned to ^Massachusetts. 
In 1869 he cam.' back. 

R. L. and W. S. Kimball, natives of New Hampshire, came 
Ajn-il. They soon opened tiie first hardware 

Ormanzo Allen were twin hrotiu'rs, natives of 

•a me iiere from AVisconsin. The former was a 

;t to locate in Austin. He practiced here until 

loved to ^lilan. Rock county, AVis., where he since 


mi Illinois 



iri' in the j) 


Orlenzer a 



rk slate, ai 



ysicifin, the 



(■(), when he 



died. Ormanzo was a lawyor by profession, lie caiiu" in tlie 
month of July and lived here luitil his death. 

Joshua L. Davidson was born in New Hanii)shii-e, in Deeeniber. 
1812. AVhen a lioy he moved with his parents to Allei^heny 
eouiity. New York, in the town of New Hudson, near Cul)a. lie 
married in his young manhood Phoebe Ann Woodford, who was 
own cousin to Lucius Robinson, ex-governor of New York. Fi\e 
or six years after their marriage they moved West, settling in 
Lake county. Illinois, near Chicago. He there engaged in farm- 
ing. xVfter four years there he removed to Rockford, 111. This 
was about 1851, and he remained there till 1855, during wliich 
time he made several trips into the great Northwestern territory, 
of which Minnesota is now a part. In the spring of 1855 he came 
to Winona. Minn., where he purchased a large interest in the 
town site of that city. His wife died the spring he left Rockford. 
1855, and November 24, 1856, in Fond du Lac, Wis., he married 
his second wife. Mrs. H. Attilla Albro. In the early spring of 
1856 he came to Austin and bought large interests, among which 
was the land known as ''Davidson's addition to Austin." He 
was a speculator in real estate and a busy worker at whatever 
his hands found to do. He moved his family to Austin in the 
spring of 1857, having already, in company with John F. Cook, 
D. M. V. Stuart and 11. C. Bolcom, built the first frame building 
of any size. This was known as the "Headquarters." The 
pine lumber used in the erection of this old landmark was hauled 
from Winona, a distance of nearly a hundred miles. During the 
Civil war he built the Davidson House — the second hotel of the 
place. He leased this property until the last year of his life, 
when he operated it himself. I\Ir. Davidson was deacon of the 
Austin church from the time of its organization until the time of 
his death, which occurred February 27, 1873. He donated the 
lots upon which the Congregational church now stands at Austin. 

Hiram L. Coon was a physician. He remained but a short 

G. B. Hayes was a native of New Hampshire. He was the 
leading merchant of Austin for somi^ years. 

D. B. Johnson, Aaron S. Everest and G. M. Cameron weie all 
lawyers liy profession. Tlie two foi'mei- wci-e natives of York 
state, the latter of Canada. 

Colbert C. Hanchett and Loyal W. Sprague cauie fi-om Wis- 
consin and ciigagcd in mercantile trade, in \\liicli tlicy contiiuied 
anout tlii'ce years. Ilanchclt was aftci'ward in tiic army as a 
sutler. He died in tiic South during tiic war. 'I'iie last licai'd 
from Sprague he was at Whitewater, AVis. 

J. W. Wheat was a native of New Ilampsiiire; a physician. 

James C. Ackly pui-cliascd a oni'-fourth interest in the village 


plat. He afterward engaged in the boot and shoe trade. After 
the war he moved to southern Missouri and later to Atchison, 
Kan., where lie died. 

Albert Galloway was born in the town of Newburg, Orange 
county, N. Y., October 6, 1822. In 1856 he started for Minne- 
sota, intending to locate at Minneapolis. ^Yhile on the boat 
between Dunleith and Winona he met friends who induced him 
to go to Chatfiield with them. They started from "Winona on 
foot and walked to Chatfield. After a short stop there they pro- 
ceeded on their journey and walked to Frankford. He there 
procured a ride to Austin. This was in the fall of 1856. He 
immediately pre-empted a claim in section 17, town 102, range 
18. He proved up on that claim in November of that year and 
engaged diiring the following winter as clerk in Hanchett & 
Sprague's store. In 1857 he formed a partnership with D. R. 
Johnson, Jr., and engaged in 'mercantile business. He had cut 
some logs, which he sawed at Leverich's mill, and erected the 
store building. The lumber for siding and floor he drew from 
Winona. Galloway & Johnson dissolved partnership about one 
year later, after which Mr. Galloway continued in business alone, 
carrying a good stock of goods. He remained in business until 

L. N. Griffith was born in Allegany county, New York, No- 
vember 18, 1824. He removed when a child to Lorain county, 
Ohio. He was postmaster of Austin postoffice from 1857 to 1858, 
and was also justice of the peace for many years. 

Others that were known to have been here as early as 1856 
were Dennis Crandall, John E. Hallett, Samuel Wheeler, C. P. 
Carpenter, Charles and George Bodle, J. M. V. Stuart, John M. 
Fleming, A. W. Billings. 

John E. Hallett engaged for a time clerking in Yates & Lewis' 

J. M. V. Stuart and John M. Fleming were from Canada. 
The former had money to invest in land. After two or three 
years he moved to Kansas. Fleming was a young man with a 
good education. He was for a time deputy register of deeds. 
He remained a resident of Austin until the time of his death, 
whicli occurrrcd in an early day. 

Charles Bodle remained here two or three years, during which 
time lie drove stage. 

C. P. Carpenter was also a stage driver. Two or three years 
later he went back to New Hampshire, where he lived a fcAV 
years. Then returned to Austin, where he died. 



The first man to locate in the vicinity of Austin was "Hunter" 
Clark, who built a log cabin near the grounds of Oakwood ceme- 
tery in the fall of 1853. The first frame house in Austin was 
erected by Chauncey Leverich, in the autumn of 1855. In 1866 
the first brick dwelling house in town was the Congregational 
parsonage, corner of Maple and St. Paul streets. The second 
by J. B. Y''ates, corner of Kenwood avenue and Mill street. The 
bricks were made in Austin by Y^ates & Lewis, who started the 
first brick yard. The first white child born in Austin was Austin 
Bemis, son of George H. and Eleanor Merrick Bemis, born No- 
vember 17, 1855. The second child born in the place was Carrie 
]\I. "Wheat, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. J. N. Wheat. She was 
born December 6, 1856. She became the wife of E. G. Bascorab, 
of Rochester, Minn. The first piano owned in the city was pur- 
chased by Dr. J. N. Wheat. The first church organ was played 
by Mrs. Johnson, at the Methodist church, in 1863. The first 
brick business house in Austin was erected in 1866, by Harlan 
Page, for a bank, with laAV offices above. This was destroyed by 
fire in 1869, and the present First National Bank building erected 
on its site. The first goods were sold by A. B. Vaughan, in 1855. 
George H. Bemis ran the first shoe shop. The first death within 
the place was that of Chauncey Leverich, in the early fall of 
1856. Old settlers declare that David Oliver broke the first 
ground on the forty acres now platted and known as "Parker & 
Brown's addition to Austin." 


Judge Ormanzo Allen, some years ago, in an address before 
the Old Settlers' Association, admirably summed up the early 
histoiy of Austin in the following words :^ 

In the year 1853 the territory embraced in Mower county was 
surveyed into townships and seetionized. Prior to that time 
and, as for that matter, several years thereafter, Mower county 
was the home and hunting grounds of the wild Indian, and the 
early settlers of Mower county have seen them in their native 
independence as they have been by scores in their teepees and 
wigwams along the Cedar river ; and many of you have seen 
them in their native dependence as they have begged for bread 
in your houses, where they have entered \inannounced and un- 
invited, and you have heard their simple language. 

In the fall of 1852 some camps were made along the Cedar 
river by trappers from Iowa, but were al)andoned in tlie follow- 
ing wintiM-. In thi' fall of 1853, near where Oakwood cemetery 


now is, a man by the name of "Hunter" Clark settled and built 
there the first log house in the eastern part of Mower county. 
About this time came Austin Nichols, who built a log house just 
back of where Judge Cameron's house afterward stood. Austin 
was named in honor of tliis first settler on the to-\vn plat of Aus- 
tin. Austin Nichols soon moved west. That same winter of 
1853-54 and in the spring of 1854 other settlements were made 
along the Cedar river and Deer creek and loAva river, Lewis 
Patchin being among the number of settlers along Deer creek. 

In the latter part of the year 3854, and in the year 1855, set- 
tlers began to come in from Iowa and Wisconsin, among whom 
were Alanson B. Vaughan, who settled at Lansing; John Rob- 
inson, who settled near High Forest ; John Tift, who settled eight 
miles south of iSustin; Chauneey Leverich, who bought out 
Austin Nichols; Abraham 8. Lott, C. H. Huntington, James and 
Return B. Foster, who all settled four or five miles .south of 
Austin along the Cedar river. September 14, 1855, the first land 
was taken and proved upon by Chauneey Leverich, Jeremiah B. 
Yates and Velorous P. liewis. Sylvester Smith, Henry and Will- 
iam Baudler and many others came this year, 1855. 

During the year 1856 hundreds came to Austin and ]\Iower 
county, and among them your obedient servant. So that at the 
close of the year 1856 there were estimated to be 600 people in 
Mower county and abcnit 100 people in Austin. 

The first deed for the conveyance of real estate in Mower 
county is now on file at the office of the register of deeds of 
Goodhue county, in the city of Red AVing. Many deeds were 
filed and recorch^d in Houston county, and several years ago 
William Carey Snow, then deputy register of deeds for Mower 
county, went to Caledonia and copied such deeds upon our 

The first minister tluit ever preached a sermon in Austin Avas 
the Rt^v. Ml". IMapes, then stopping f(n' a sliort time near Browns- 
dale. Following close on to this was a sermon by the Rev. ^Mr. 
Phelps. These sermons were l)oth by Methodist ministers, and 
botli preached in the Snow & AVill)our hotel. Rev. Stephen Cook, 
John F. Cook's father, a Congregational minister, was the third 
person to i)i'c;icli in Austin. lie preached during August, 1856, 
and tlic succecdiim' iVw moutlis in a small house, then iised as a 
schoolroom, and on 1lu" spot wlici-e Tliomas Riley's dwelling Avas 
later en-tcd. Duriiit:' 1hc winter of 1856-7, Rev. E. F. Gurney 
and Steplu'n Cool^ prcjirlicd in pi'ivate liouscs about town as they 
were invited. 

The first sdionl in Ausliii was laugiif by Alaria Vauglian in 
a log bouse, whicii was afterwards occupied by yours truly 
and liis wilV lor a (iwcUing house and stood on the north side 


of Water street, where James Anderson's was later erected. The 
second school was taught by one Sarah Berais, sister of Oliver 
and George Bemis. The third by Kate Conkey, sister of George 
N. Conkey. Both these schools were located in a small building 
where Thomas Riley's dwelling house was later erected. The 
fourth and last primitive school was taught in the winter of 
1856-7 by a young gentleman by the name of Saxon, the pay- 
ment of whose wages caused the arrest and sale of several thou- 
sand shingles, by your most obedient as district clerk, belonging 
to two merchants whose names I forbear to mention. Those 
young merchants severely threatened that faithful clerk of the 
school district with a long and tedious lawsuit, but the suit has 
never come oflP yet, as I have heard. The first schoolhouse built 
in Austin was later occupied and used as the Methodist Episcopal 

The first ])arties married in the county were Caleb Stock and 
^lary "\Yatkins. This was in 1856, Sylvester Smith, a justice of 
the peace, officiating. The first birth was that of Austin Bemis, 
son of George and Eleanor Bemis, in the year 1855. The first 
death was that of Mary Robinson, of High Forest, daughter of 
John Robinson, in the year 1855. The first town site recorded 
was the town of Austin, M^hich was partly surveyed and platted 
by Yates & Lewis and is now Y''ates & Lewis' addition to Austin. 
Then followed the village of Au.stin. 

Several once live and famous town sites have long since 
passed in their chips. I refer to the city of Madison, ten miles 
north of here on the Avest side of Cedar river, which once had its 
hotels, stores and saw mill. I refer also to the city of Two Rivers, 
one mile and a half south of here, at the confluence of the Turtle 
and Cedar rivers, which 6nce had a famous hotel, kept by Robert 
Autis, and for a time bid fair to eclipse Aiastin. I refer also 
to Cedar City, six miles south of here, wlijch once had its saw mill 
and its flour mill, and Justice Meanes, before whom long suits 
at law were wont to be tried in ancient days. But the floods of 
August, 1858, swept out the last vestige of that city. I refer 
also to Troy City, eight miles south of here, which, unlike its 
predeees.sor of ancient lore, never had any wooden horses to 
l)eguile the unsuspecting and overcredulous, but it had its hotel 
and saw mill and grist mill, which the floods of 1858 and finan- 
cial reverses swept away. There were also some misadventures 
upon the east side of the county in founding cities, like Frank- 
ford and old LeRoy, which have nearly faded oiit. 

The first frame house built in the county was built by Chaun- 
cey Leverich on lot 5, in block 2, in the village of Austin, near 
where the dwelling house of James T. Sargent was later erected. 
By so doing the Leveriehs were accused, at that time, of putting 


on "airs," •which frame house long since went down before the 
corroding tooth of time. The first saw mill built in the county 
was built by Chauncey Leverieh in the year 1855, where Eugle's 
was later erected. 

The first newspaper ever published in the county was by 
David Blakely in Austin in the fall of 1858, called the ]\Iower 
County Mirror. Blakely started this paper in consideration of 
being elected to the lucrative office of register of deeds of Mower 
county. He published this paper for about one year, and was 
succeeded by Rufus K. Crum, Avho published the paper for about 
another, at which time the paper was removed to Rochester, 
]\Iinn. About four months thereafter B. P. Jones commenced the 
publication of the Courier, which, by various devices, was con- 
tinued for some two years, when Jones went into the United 
States service, and in July, 1863, the Mower County Register 
•was started by Herman R. Davidson, just out of Oberlin college, 
and son of Joshua L. Davidson, who published the paper for 
about one year and until his death, when C. H. Davidson con- 
tinued the publication of the paper. Then came the Transcript 
and other papers. 

The hasty glance Avhich we have taken contrasting the present 
with the past shows that IMower county has indeed made great 
progress in every material and A-ital matter pertaining to and 
affecting the interests and the true interests of her citizens, and 
that Mower county is well abreast with other counties in our 
state in her mechanical and agricultural interests, as well as 
schools, churches, railroads, buildings, bridges and every in- 
ternal improvement calculated to build up and develop the 
wliole country. , , 


In the winter of 1856-57, the building known as Headquarters 
was built. It was built by Joshua L. Davidson, J. F. Cook, 
J. M. V. Stuart and H. C. Bolcom. It was located on Main street. 
The lower story was used as a store for many years. The upper 
story was all that can possibly be meant by the word "head- 
quarters." Within tliis building the Mirror, the first paper in 
Mower county, was started by David Blakely, and its newspaper 
honor did not close till it had been used as the office of the INIin- 
nesota Courier, the Register and Transcript, thus being the birth- 
place of four of Mower coiinty's solid journals. The first court 
ever held in Mower county convened here. It was also used 
for school and religious purposes. Some of the early settlers 
will remember how the pioneers came in from the country with 
ox- tenms to worsliip at tliis place. There were the old and 


young, and among the number might have been seen pretty 
maidens with their shaker bonnets, and sometimes in their bare 
feet. This was also the place for holding all the public gather- 
ings, festivals, dances and other events. Could its walls but 
speak, what a tale it would tell of days long since passed into 
oblivion. The Austin National Bank now occupies the site. 


In the early fifties of the last century, a half-broken trail 
wound its way from the Iowa state line to what are now the 
Twin Cities. In time the trail became known as the territorial 
road. At one point it made an abrupt turn to take advantage 
of a ford in a beautiful stream that bubbled and gurgled over 
pebbles and ever-shifting sand. Along the trail and down to 
the ford came army horses and mules to plunge fetlock deep and 
thrust their dust-filled nostrils in the cooling water. Here the 
troopers used to tarry on their way through the Northwest. 
Here emigrants in canvas-covered wagons rested while their 
tired oxen browsed on the rich herbage. The Sioux from his 
tepee on the banks watched the ever-increasing, never-ending 
tide of caravans that were to crowd the red men toward the 
setting sun. Trappers of the mink and of the otter, and hunters 
of the deer, came and pitched their tents beneath the cotton- 

In the meantime came Austin Nichols. Others followed. Then 
came Chauncey Leverich. He came to the crossing of the Avaters 
on his way to the Northwest, where he sought the fur-bearing 
creatures of forest and stream. Standing on the banks of the 
Cedar, he said: "Here will I pitch my tent, here Avill I found a 
city." Here, therefore, the city was built upon the bank of the 
Cedar, whose waters once swept noisily through this valley to 
join the far away Mississippi, now harnessed for the needs of 
man, forms a lake dotted with islands, among which dart the 
swiftly driven launches of pleasure seekers. Along the banks 
of the river, parks are laid out, not to spoil but to preserve the 
wildness of spots which nature made lovely in wanton, reckless 
prodigality. There are some places where it would seem that 
nature had set out to make more beautiful than any other spot 
some places where she seemed to have worked to display what 
the poet has called "her wilder majesty." Aeons of time she 
spent to enrich the soil and then set the deep and everlasting 
springs, some to pour forth like fountains, some mere trickling 
streams of liquid crystal to flow from the black loam, others 
she set to form deep pools and put in perpetual motion the sil- 
very sands to roll about the bottom as thougli blown by some 


spirit of the deep. luto the soil she scattered with a prodigal 
hand the seed of a thousand flowers and grasses that the land 
might flow with milk and honey. After they who spied out the 
land had returned with the grapes of Esehol, others came to 
this goodly land. The pioneer followed the trail of the trappex\ 
The lowing of the kine was heard where the wolf's long howl 
had echoed down the flights of years. The preacher came to 
plant the cross where the Indian had pitched his wigwam. The 
teacher came and the schoolhouse was set like a lamp upon a 
hill. The railroad supplanted the trail itself and the electric 
spark told that Austin was born on the spot where Chauncey 
Leverich stood when he declared to his trappers fifty-three years 
ago, ' ' Here Avill I build a city. ' ' 

That was over half a century ago. The old ford is no more. 
The rapids above it are harnessed and the wheels they turn grind 
the grain that grows where the hunter lay in wait for the buffalo 
and deer. The trapper comes no more to the stream, for he has 
passed on with the Indian, the mink and the otter. The terri- 
torial trail has become a legend with which the old settlers love 
to beguile an hour with the newcomer. Its windings were long 
Hgo made straight, and brick paving covers the soil once trod 
by trooper and emigrant. Automobiles rush along the city 
streets where the covered wagon caravan creaked over the prairie 
trail. The cottonwoods are no more. They were patricians in 
those days but plebeians in this. The places they occupied are 
now filled with graceful elms, fragrant catalpa and handsome 
maples, spirea bow their wreaths in the boulevards over a car- 
pet of deepest green. The sky line, once formed by the trees 
of tlie virgin forest, is now marked by the spires and crosses of 
a half a score of ehvirches and by the smokestacks of factories and 
the roofs of happy homes. — John H. Skinner. 

Leverich bought out Austin Nichols and settled on the original 
village of Austin, Davidson's, Berry's, Brown's and Parker's 
and a forty of railroad additions; D. J. Tubbs built a saw mill 
for Leverich; Robert Dobbins settled on the Balcora quarter; 
Benedict J. Brown on Yates & Lewis' and Brown's additions. In 
.September, C. H. Huntington. A. S. Lott, Calvin Powers and 
Moses Rolfe took claims east of the Cedar in the southern part of 
the town, and D. L. Chandler began the Cedar City settlement. 
The Averys, father and two sons, settled the Strever farm and 
other land near. David L. and Willard Smith came in October. 
1S.")4. Fi-ancis Stuhfell and Winfield Lovel, or Loveland. a 
l)l;i<ksinith, came later, perhaps early in 1855. The first mad<' 
shiiigh^s and for a time ran a saloon ; the last loved fast horses 
and, so the old settlers allege, made counterfeit money. Game 
wns abundant ;ind n principal means of sii])sist(>nce. In 1855 


George and Oliver Bemis, shoemakers; J. B. Yates, V. P. Lewis, 
Sylvester Smith, Levi Watrous, Abe Haling, A. B. Vaughn, G. W. 
Mason, Black Hayes and Wild Cat Brown and others were added 
to the city population. There settled in the town Robert Autis, 
on section 10 ; Alexander Nigus, on the Ellis farm ; Reuben Wat- 
rous, Widow Lockwood, George and Thomas Phelps, Clem Smith, 
Daniel McPherson and M. J. Woodson. In 1856 there came 
early J. H. McKiuley, and built the first hotel, Avhich he sold to 
Sol Snow and G. E. AVilbour, arriving later, and Charles Ferris, 
carpenter ; R. L. and W. S. Kimball, hardware ; four attorneys, 
Ormanzo Allen, Aaron S. Everest, D. B. Johnson, Jr., and G. M. 
Cameron; three doctors, Orlenzer Allen, H. L. Coon and J. N. 
Wheat, and G. B. Hayes, Hanehett and Sprague, merchants; 
-J. L. Davidson, John F. Cook, Luther S. Morgan, James C. Ack- 
ley and L. N. Griffith, town proprietors ; Rev. Stephen 
Cook, Albert Galloway, S. W. Rice, Samuel Little, H. M. 
Allen and J. j\I. Berry, afterwards judge of the supreme 
court. That year there settled in the township, among others, 
Jacob S. Decker, AV. A. AVoodsou, John Chandler, H. VanAVinkle, 
John AA^atkins, Caleb Stock, Alfred Cressey, Thomas Bonnallie, 
John Rose, H. E. Case, Thomas Varco, H. G. Prouty and AVel- 
come Osborne. 

In the fall of 1855, Leverich, with the services of A. B. 
A^aughn as surveyor, staked out a village, including the village 
of Austin and Davidson's addition, but did not properly survey 
and record the same. Yates and Lewds had bought the S%, of 
B. J. Brown's claim, NEJ4 of 3, and tried in vain to have Lever- 
ieii make the principal street on the quarter line of three, now 
AA'est Main street. Leverich platted tlie sides of his lots clear 
up to the line. Abates and Lewis, with ]Moses Armstrong as sui-- 
veyor, laid out their addition and Brown's, but in the evening, 
learning of the movements of A^'aughn and INIason, platted Austin, 
consisting of blocks 1 to 6 in their addition, so as to be entirely 
surrounded by their future addition and coming only wnthin a 
block of AYest IMain street. Vaughn and Mason had bought in 
with Leverich, and in his absence learned of Armstrong's sur- 
vey, completed their survey of the fall before and late in the 
evening. April 16, 1856, crossed the Cedar in a boat and started 
on foot for Frankford, the county seat, to file tlieir plat. A'ates, 
Lewis and Armstrong drew tlieir plat, mounted horses, tried at 
various points to ford the swollen Cedar, gave it up, the night 
being very dark, staid all night at John Pettibone's in Lansing, 
crossed in his boat in the morning, swimming their horses behind, 
and passed Afason and Vaughn about four miles this side of 
Frankford. They found the .iustice al)sent, sent for Felcli, pro- 
bate judge, and acknowledged and filed their plat. A''aughn and 


i\:rason arrived half an hour late, altered their plat by dropping 
the forty that became Davidson's addition, and christened the 
other forty "Village of Austin," and filed two hours later. 

Leverieh's saw mill was the first business established. A. B. 
Vaughn and son, P. D., opened the first store in the spring of 
1855, and sold out to Aloysius Brown in 1856. Yates & Lewis 
opened the second store; Sprague.& Hanchett and the Kimballs 
opened stores soon after. 

The growth of the town was from the mill westward on Water 
street and the street south. Yates and Lewis moved the few 
buildings erected in their town to the village. The increase in 
numbers was less in 1857 than in 1856. J. S. Lacy built tlie sec- 
ond hotel pretty well out of town, where the Fleck House stands. 
In 1858 Avas the first period of railroad construction. What is 
now the Milwaukee line from IMinneapolis south Avas surveyed 
in 1857, and in 1858 graded for half the distance, not continu- 
ously, but in patches. Bank notes secured by bonds issued by 
the state for each ten miles of this grading, furnished circulating 
medium till they collapsed in the spring of 1859. The crops 
succumbed to the high water in the summer of 1858. A. Brown 
distributed the supply of flour and meal that kept the inhabitants 
alive. ]\Tost of it was drawn from Chatfield and Decorah, Iowa. 
The state of the roads was such that it often required many days 
to make the journey. When it Avas noised that teams Avere gone 
for a ncAV supply, sacks and cash Avere deposited to make sure of 
a portion. The demand sometimes exceeded the supply, so that 
but ten or fifteen pounds could be allowed to a family. Gold 
Avould not buy more and everyone received in proportion to their 
family. ToAAmship and A'illage together in 1860, 462 ; in 1865, 
760; in 1870, 2,632, toAvnship being 592 and the village 2,040; 
in 1875, the village had 2,601; in 1880, 2,305; in 1885, 2,505; in 
1890, 3,901; in 1895, 5,087; in 1900, 5,471; in 1905, 6,489; in 1910, 


In 1906, John II. Skinner Avrote to A. R. Nichols, tlie first 
white settler on the present site of Austin, and asked his help in 
ascertaining certain facts. At that time Mr. Nichols was liA'ing 
at Nichols, Minn., of AA'hich he had previous to his resignation 
been postmaster for twenty years. In reply, Mr. Nichols gave 
the folloAving interesting information: "I Avas born in the town 
of Hopkinton. St. LaAvrence county, Juno 13. 1814. In 1817 I 
was taken to Livingston county, in tlie same state, and in 1818 
Avent by sleigh through Canada to Detroit, ]\Iich., Avhich at that 
time contained a cnmplpnu'nt of Ignited States soldiers quar- 


tered in the historic fort, and a few French settlers along the 
river. In the fall of that year we went back to Michigan and 
settled at the lakes on the Huron river. In 1841 we "set sail" 
in a prairie schooner for the West, crossing the Mississippi on 
Christmas day, 1841. Then I went to the lead mines in Galena, 
111., and Avorked five or six years, then came back to Iowa and 
spent a winter at Cedar Lake, hunting buffalo. The following 
summer I went to Cedar river at St. Ansgar. That summer the 
state line was located. That fall, 1852, and again the following 
fall, 1853, I hunted along the Cedar river, and possibly the first 
fall got as far north as Austin. When I reached Mower county 
in the late fall of 1853, there were only three settlers in this part 
of the county : Mr. AVoodbiiry and his son-in-law, Mr. Pinkerton, 
at Woodbury creek, north of the Iowa state line, and O. P. Clark, 
in a shack to the north of what is now Austin. June 8, 1854, I 
drove the first claim stake in Austin, and a short time afterward, 
O. P. Clark brought his family and several head of cattle to his 
claim, which Avas above mine. The next settlers were Eobert 
Dobbin, jMiller Clayton and ]\Ir. Pinkham. I sold to Mr. Leverich. 
Then I left Austin and went to Blue Earth river in Faribault 
county and settled doAvn to farming until after the close of the 
war. I then sold out and went to IMinneapolis, stayed there sev- 
eral years, and then came to ]\Iille Lacs lake, Avhere I am at 
the present time." 


In the fall of 1855, Chauncey Leverich and A. B. Vaughan 
staked out a village on the southeast quarter of the northeast 
quarter of section 3, but did not properly survey and record the 
name. On April 16, 1856, J. B. Y'ates and V. P. Lewis procured 
the services of M. K. Armstrong, county surveyor, and com- 
menced to plat a village on the northwest quarter of section 3. 
The siirvey Avas not completed until late that evening. Vaughan 
& Mason (the latter having bought an interest in the plat) saAV 
Yates and LcAvis at Avork. Their suspicions Avere at once aroused, 
and thinking to checkmate them they also effected a regular sur- 
vey of the lands Avhich they had staked off the previous autumn, 
and late in the evening Mason and Vaughan (Leverich being 
absent) crossed the Cedar river in a boat and started on foot to 
Frankford, the county «eat, to file their plat ahead of Yates and 
Lewis. But the latter party, being fully equal to such an emer- 
gency, mounted their horses and rode up the river several miles, 
trying at various points to ford the sAVollen stream and get to 
the county seat in advance of them. The night being very dark, 
they finally .stayed all night at John Pettibone's, in the tOAvnship 


of Lansing. In the morning Mr. Pettibone took them across the 
river in his boat, while they swam their horses behind. "When 
tliey came within about four miles of Frankford they overtook 
Mason and Vaughan, who had started the night before on foot, 
and had spent the night upon the prairie, and when first seen 
were hun-ying along at a rapid gait for the county seat, in order 
to have their plat placed on file first. Neither party had had 
their papers acknowledged by a .justice of the peace, as was 
required by law, and when Yates and Lewis, who arrived at 
Frankford first, found that the justice of the peace was not at 
home, they sent for Judge C. J. Felch to come and acknowledge 
their papers that they might place them on record at once. 

Vaughan and ]\Iason arrived a half hour later, but were too 
.late, as Yates and Lewis had filed a plat of "Austin." Two or 
three hours later Mason and Vaughan filed their plat as the 
"Village of Austin." 

Recorded Plats — Tlie following describes the filing of each 
plat in what now comprises AiTstin: Austin, Yates & Lewis, filed 
April 17, 1856; M. K. Armstrong, surveyor. Village of Austin, 
April 17, 1856; A. B. Vaughan, surveyor; proprietors, "Washing- 
ton Mason, Chauncey Leverich, A. B. Vaughan. Bolcom's Addi- 
tion, August 25, 1856; N. F. Hilbret, surveyor. John iNI. Berry's 
Addition, October 7, 1856; D. B. Johnson and A. W. Billings, 
surveyors. Davidson & iMorgan's Addition, March 17, 1857; 
D. B. Johnson, surveyor. Brown's Addition, August 6, 1857; 
Charles E. Carter, surveyor. Yates & Lewis' Addition, August 3, 
1857; Daniel B. Johnson, surveyor. Parker & Brown's Addition, 
August 19, 1867; C. J. Shortt, surveyor. Railroad Addition, 
January 1, 1868; James A. Case and A. B. Rodgers, surveyors. 
Palmer's Addition, December 22, 1869; James A. Case, surveyor. 
Yates' Addition to Austin, December 17, 1872; George W. Clough, 
surveyor. Fay R. Smith's Addition, November 1, 1883; E. B. 
Crane, surveyor. Galloway's First Addition, April 8, 1872; 
Galloway's Second Addition, ^Vlay 5, 1887; Galloway's Third 
Addition, May 16, 1887; Lewis Park Addition, July 4, 1887; 
Blaven's Addition. July 2, 1887; Duggan's Addition, December 
31, 1887; outlots, section 30, November 21, 1887; Lake Park Ad- 
dition, December 9, 1887; outlots, section 2, December 7, 1888; 
Oak Park addition, August 1, 1890; Ranney's Addition, June 6, 
1891 ; West Park Addition, September 5, 1891 ; Woodlawn Park 
Addition, May 7, 1892; Hayes' Addition; May 31, 1892: outlots, 
section 11, June 13, 1893; outlots, section 26, June 13, 1893; out- 
lots, section 2. June 13, 1893; Elmwood Addition, August 9, 
1893; outlots, section 11, August 2, 1894; outlots, section 2, Au- 
gust 10, 1895; Galloway's Addition to AVest Park Addition. Oc- 
tober 4, 1893; Varco's Addition to Austin, December 4, 1895; 


outlots, section 9, December 31, 1895 ; outlots, section 2, April 22, 
1896; outlots, section 2, May 18, 1896; irregular survey, in sec- 
tion 4, December 31, 1896; outlet, section 2, May 21, 1898 ; Jacob's 
Addition to Austin, June 24, 1899. 


In August, 1856, Chauncey Leverieh. one of the first settlers 
of Austin, came to an untimely death at the hands of a crowd 
of drunken roughs. The affair has been generally believed to 
have happened in about the following manner: It took place at 
a saloon where the new Elk hotel now stands. The parties 
committing the crime were intoxicated and making loud noises 
and acting very boisterous about Mr. Leverieh 's place, and he 
finally put them out of doors and they began pounding the side 
of the building, whereupon Leverieh went out determined to 
drive them away, but in the engagement he was struck by a bar 
of some kind, which fractured his skull. He lived about a week 
and was buried upon the corner of the same lot upon which his 
building stood. The parties charged with the crime of killing 
him were Horace Silver and William Oliver, who were tried for 
assault and battery, and fined respectively $20 and $10. Upon 
learning of Mr. Leverieh 's serious injury they both left the 

S. D. Mead, a stepson of Horace Silver, one of the men who 
was convicted of the assault on Leverieh, has the following to 
say of this tragic incident: "I was not in the saloon at the time 
of the affair which cost Leverieh his life and my people their 
home, but I have my information from Autis, who was there and 
saw the trouble, as well as from vay own people. This saloon 
row occurred, as most such affairs do, when the whiskey was 
flowing freely. Now this was a friendly gathering. Silver and 
Leverieh were the best of friends, as were Oliver and Leverieh. 
But this was the grand opening night of the saloon and free 
whiskey flowed plentifully. The crowd grew merry and was 
liaving all kmds of fun, but the fun, as is usual in such cases, soon 
turned into a row, which ended in a general fight, during which 
no one seemed to know or care M^ho was hit or what thej' hit 
Avith. The consequence was that in the general melee Leverieh 
received a blow which laid him oiit. I heard the trial of Silver 
and Oliver before Justice Smith, but tlien- wns no evidence pro- 
duced to show who struck the blow or witli wlint it was struck. 
My father always said he had no enmity against Leverieh and 
always mentioned that he did not strike the fatal blow. He 
always said that the first he knew that Leverieh was hurt he 
heard someone cry out in the crowd: 'For God's sake, stop the 


row; Leverich is killed.' This was the story he still held to on 
his deathbed. After the trial he said that if Minnesota were a 
state and had state laws he would stay in Austin and stand trial. 
But it was a territory and he was told that he better get away 
or he might be lynched. So he and Oliver left on foot. My 
step-father walked all the way to Michigan, where his brother 
lived, and we neither saw nor heard from him for two years. 

"After he had gone my mother was nearly insane with grief 
and anxiety. I worked and cared for mother and four children 
for nearly two years. I then disposed of our cattle and personal 
property and went back to Michigan. Our home in Austin was 
taken from us on an execution for a debt of $15. Father then 
took his family and was a good father and husband as long as he 
lived. The loss of everything he owned, however, broke him all 
up and he was never the same man after the unfortunate atfair 
took place. He died in Michigan in 1874 and my mother lived 
until 1886." 

Samuel Rice is an early settler whose veracity is absolutely 
relied upon. His story differs decidedly from the other versions 
of the affair, is as follows: "In the summer of 1856 Chauucey 
Leverich built a store on the southeast corner of Bridge and 
Chatham streets, "where subsequently stood the buildings until 
recently owned by D. B. Smith, which, after his death, were sold. 
He planned to open a saloon on the north side of the store and a 
grocery department on the south side. Samuel Rice had hauled 
the first load of groceries from Wabash, arriving the very eve- 
ning of the murder. On the way to Austin the rear spring of 
his democrat wagon broke, so he removed it, and arriving at his 
destination left the spring outside of the building by the door- 
way. The store was unfinished. A carpenter bench stood in 
the center of the floor and rubbish lay about the place, which 
as yet had not been opened for business. Leverich had suggested 
that he and I\Ir. Rice go to a dance at Ed Merry's when the inci- 
dent occiirred which resulted instead in the death of Leverich. 
Horace Silver and William Oliver were lounging about. Lev- 
erich, smoking a cigar, seated himself on the carpenter bench 
near Silver, who carelessly picked up a chisel laying on the bench 
and deliberately knocked the cigar from Leverich 's mouth, who 
exclaimed, 'Quit that!' bent down, picked up the cigar from the 
floor and resumed smoking. Silver knocked it out of his mouth 
a second time, at which Leverich became angry and swore that 
if he did it again he would lick him. Leverich put the cigar in 
his mouth again and Silver delil)erately, when the opportunity 
presented itself, tapped the cigar with the tool again, sending 
it to Ihr floor. Levei-ich swore violently, jumped up and struck 
Silver a I)low wliicli sent him staggering against the wall. 


Oliver theu stepped forward and taking hold of Leveridi liy llic 
arm, said, 'Hold on, Chauncey; you are too hasty.' Lcvcridi 

swung around, saying, 'You take it up, will you, you,' 

and struck him a hard blow. Silver and Oliver went out of the 
store by the front door. A few minutes later they told Leverich 
to come out and they would fix him. It was a very dark night. 
One of them picked up the spring with the heavy wood piece 
attached, laying near the door, and when Leverich came out 
threw it at him, point first. The wood hit him over the eyes 
and crushed his skull. He fell, unconscious. Bystanders in the 
building lifted him up, carried him in and laid his senseless body 
on the buffalo robe spread on the carpenter bench. Dr. O. Allen 
was called, and under his direction Leverich was taken home. 

"He died in about three days. In the meantime Oliver and 
Silver were arrested, arraigned before Justice Sylvester Smith, 
and fined $15 and $20, respectively. After the death of Leverich 
and before papers charging them with murder could be served, 
they escaped. Silver returned to town secretly some years later 
to settle his affairs. The body of Leverich was buried under the 
back window of his store. His wife moved to the rooms upstairs 
and for years the kitchen slops Avere thrown on his grave. Later 
it was disinterred by his heirs and moved away. Leverich was 
an extensive land owner and a prosperous, progressive man. He 
owned several sections of land and also city property, besides 
other interests. His wife, according to well authenticated reports, 
was deliberately robbed by several men of the town. The various 
pieces of land Avere auctioned off for but a fraction of their real 
value. Although Chauncey Leverich Avas a man of rough exterior, 
he Avas at heart good, and his progressive spirit might have done 
much for the groAving toAA'n." 


The folloAving accounts of important events of the early days 
are Avorthy of preservation in this work, as they recall pictures 
of life in the sixties and seventies, long since forgotten by all 
except the oldest inhabitants. 

January 2 the Lake building, after having tAvice caught fire 
tlie previous day, Avas entirely consumed before help could be 
obtained to extinguish it. In the loAver room Avas the store of 
]\Ir. Keeny. The most of his goods Avere saved. Upstairs Avas 
the photograph gallery of A. B. Davidson and the drug store of 
3Iorse, Daily & Co. All the stock of both firms Avas entirely 
consumed. The insurance on the gallery AA'as $150; on the drug 
store, $400. 

January 27, 1865, a schoolhouse situated a fcAv miles south of 


Austin, on Rose creek, was consumed by fire. The building was 
a small log structure. During the afternoon of the same day 
some timbers remaining from the fire were carried from the 
spot to Mr. Ames' house, near by. for fuel and placed in the 
woodshed, with the result that some smouldering embers caused 
the house to burn down. 

On May 3, 1865, the residence of Jacob S. Decker, about two 
miles east of Austin, was destroyed by fire, together with nearly 
all its contents. The loss reached .$1,000; insurance, $300. The 
fire originated in the roof. 

On June 10, 1863, it is said by the Courier: "Horse thieves 
are getting very numerous in this section of the country and 
that portion of Iowa bordering on Fillmore, j\Iower and Free- 
born counties in particular. We have had calls during the past 
week from no less than seven persons on the lookout for horses 
stolen. Three horses were stolen on Wednesday evening last 
from C. H. Owen and Daniel Ames, residents of Lyle tOAvnship. 
They will get $100 for the recovery of the horses and the thieves, 
or $25 apiece for each horse or thief." 

October 20, 1868, the Democrat said: "The Austin Academy 
and Commercial Institute, for ladies and gentlemen, will open 
without fail on Monday, October 26, 1868, in the third story of 
Hunt & Basford's brick block, corner of ]\Iain and Bridge streets, 
with J. H. Johnson as principal." 

Austin's Disastrous Fire. ^Marcli 3, 1869. Austin was visited 
by its, first big fire. There was a strong wind blowing froni the 
north at the time and the thermometer stood 15 to 18 degrees 
below zero, which tended to prevent the citizens fron: collecting 
as soon as would otherwise have been the case. However, quite 
a number were promptly on the ground, but the fire had got under 
such headway that it was found impossible to extinguish it with 
the facilities at hand. In three hours from the time the fire 
was first discovered four two-story brick buildings on the east 
side of Main street were burned to the ground, nothing being left 
but the demolished walls. The fire was first discovered in the 
dry goods store of Case & Shepley, the north building of the four, 
the direction from which the wind was blowing. How the fire 
originated was a mystery, but it was supposed it caught from the 
stove. Witliiii a short tiiiu> a ci-owd of three or four hundred 
X)ersons were on llie ground and it was decided as impossible to 
save tlic brick l)uildings, so the first thing to be done was to save 
111! cdntcnts as far as possible and to prevent the fire from 
sju-eading. The major part of the dry goods and groceries of 
JMessrs. Solner & Morgan were saved, and a few things from the 
second storv over Paddock Bros.' store. Nearlv all the contents 


of the First National Bank building, consisting of the fixtures 
belonging to the bank and to the law and land office of Page & 
"Wiieeler were saved. The contents of the post office and Griffith's 
book store, also a portion of the dry goods and groceries of 
Austin & Richardson, and the liquors from the billiard saloon 
of W. Simpson were removed. The small frame building belong- 
ing to J. F. Atherton, and occupied by him as a grocery store, 
standing next door north of the row of brick buildings was 
promptly torn down and remo^'ed. Soon the fire reached the 
corner building and it was found necessary to tear away the 
small frame building occupied as a meat market to prevent the 
spread of the fire to the east along Bridge street. This was 
promptly done and the fire was confined to the brick structures. 
At the time the entire loss Avas estimated at from $40,000 to 

The following is a list of losses as published at the time of 
the conflagration: J. F. Atherton, one brick building and a small 
frame, household goods and part stock of groceries; insurance, 
$2,200. Case & Shepley, stock of dry goods and groceries, books, 
papers, etc.; insurance, $4,000. Creditors of Paddock Bros., 
stock of dry goods and groceries. Solner & Morgan, part of 
stock of dry goods and groceries; insurance, $5,000. First Na- 
tional Bank, brick building, counters, etc. ; insurance, $2,000. 
Barnes & Baird, brick building; insurance, $2,000. Lewis & Rob- 
erts, bi-ick building : insurance, $2,000. Dr. E. C. Dorr, dental 
tools and machinery, books, papers, etc. Dr. E. P. Hudson, dental 
tools, etc. Page & Wheeler, furniture, a few books, papers, etc. 
A. Galloway, frame biiilding. Frederick & Sammons, a few tools, 
meat, etc. IMrs. INIarshall and ^Miss Nerton, dressmakers, sus- 
tained some loss. J. AVoodward and Mr. Carter lost their house- 
hold goods. Dr. Barnes sustained some loss in his office. Austin 
& Richardson, W. Simpson, R. Griffith and Postmaster Phelps all 
sustained some loss by the removal of goods. 

In June, 1869, complaint was made to Sheriff' IMollisou, by a 
gentleman from the rural districts, to the eff'ect that a woman 
had stolen a horse from him, and giving a description of the 
woman and horse. It seems that before the woman had got a 
great distance from the starting place the horse escaped and 
came to town. The gentleman recovered his horse, and the thief 
was heard from, being in the country a])0ut three miles distant. 
The sheriff desired to let the woman come to town and claim 
the horse before arresting her, but was urged on until he pro- 
ceeded into the country with papers and brought the woman to 
town and to trial. It seems that she "smelt a mice" and con- 
cluded that hers was a "horse of another color." She swore 


that she had aeyer seen the horse, which was alleged to have 
been stolen, and there being no proof, the horse not being found 
in her possession, she Avas discharged. The authorities came to 
the conclusion that it took a sharp man to trap a woman. 

June 26, 1870, William Simpson was drowned in the Cedar 
river at Austin, just back of his residence, near the foot of St. 
Paul street. 

On September 22, 1868, Henry Hyer, a boy about twelve years 
of age, was accidentally killed near the depot. The boy at- 
tempted to jump upon a handcar, when in motion, and the lever 
struck him on the head, crushing in his skull and killing him 
almost instantly. 

In its issue of December 1, 1868, the Democrat contained the 
following item: "Three native Americans — no carpet-baggers — 
stopped at the Central House in this place last night. Two of 
them were chiefs of the Menominee nation, one of Avhich killed 
five Sioux Indians in the war of 1862-63, fighting on the side of 
the whites. He has five marks made in India ink upon his arm to 
'designate the fact.' The tribe lives upon the Black river, in 
"Wisconsin. These chaps have been out west trapping, and are 
now returning to their tribe. They are very large, robust men, 
capable of taking care of a large amount of rations." 

The Austin Democrat, February 23, 1869, states that "genuine 
stone coal has been foimd in Mower county." In that issue ap- 
pears the following article: "Thomas Smith, of "Windom town- 
ship, in this county, has left with us a very fair sample of stone 
coal, and informs us that he has taken from the mine which he 
is now prospecting, some lumps as good as any ever taken from 
a Pennsylvania coal field. ^NTr. Smith is something of a geologist, 
and had discovered signs of coal on his place, in the bluff along 
Rose Creek, some time since, and a few days ago determined to 
investigate the matter and prospect for a large deposit which he 
had reason to believe existed in the vicinity. He employed an 
experienced miner, and the two went to work, tunneling into the 
bluff, and the present indications are that a rich bed of coal will 
soon be discovered. Two or three Aveeks more will tell the story. 
The importance wliich would attend the discovery of an exten- 
sive bed of coal in Windom, lying as it does, in the center of a 
large prairie country, could not be overestimated. * * 

On April 1, 1870, Carl Chanbery, a young man who, the pre- 
vious spring, li;i(l come with his aged mother from SAveden, and 
settled in Austin, Avas drowiu'd in CcMlar river. 

On Sunday afternoon, .July 17, 1870, David Caswell, a iiroiii- 
inent citizen of LeRoy, left his residence for the purpose of look- 
ing at some grass land nearly a quarter of a mile distant on the 
farm, ;ni(l as w;is soinctinics bis cusloni. look Avith liiiii a double- 


barreled shot gun. Later in the day his dead body was found 
with a shot gun wound in the left side, with every indication that 
the gun had gone off while he was in the act of loading it. 

On August 14, 1870, a Norwegian named Jens Jenson, about 
54 years of age, who lived a short distance from Adams station, 
committed suicide by hanging himself in a grove. 

. On September 2, 1870, John Fredell, a Swede, 23 years of 
age, was drowned in the Cedar river. The young man had come 
from INIinneapolis about three Aveeks before his death and had 
been in the employ of the railroad company. He had shown un- 
mistakable signs of insanity. 

On Monday, February 13, 1871, at between 3 and 4 o'clock 
in the morning, the warehouse of Guns & Anderson, at Browns- 
dale, was discovered to be on fire. The flames soon reached the 
warehouse of Mr. Eowell, and the building was entirely de- 
stroyed. The Avarehouse of Guns & Anderson contained 6,000 
bushels of wheat, 3,300 bushels of flax seed, 1,000 pounds of tow, 
about 1,000 grain sacks, a fanning mill, and the articles usually 
kept about a grain warehouse. Nothing at all was saved and 
tlieir loss Avas about $13,000, Avhieh, however, Avas fully covered 
by insurance. Mr. RoAvell's Avarehouse was empty at the time. 
The total loss on both Avas about $15,000. 

On February 20, 1871, Austin Avas visited by a disastrous fire. 
At about 1 o'clock the Fleck House Avas discovered to be on fire, 
and the flames spread so rapidly that it was impossible to save 
the building. There were about sixty persons in the house at 
the time, and all succeeded in making their escape. The property 
was valued at $9,000, including the grounds, and Avas insured 
for $3,500. The hotel at the time Avas under the management of 
George Hay, who had leased it and taken possession about ten 
days prcAHous to the time of the fire. The fire caught from a 
defective flue. 

On May 9, 1871, a fatal accident occurred at the depot of the 
C, M. & St. P. R. R. in Au.stin, resulting in the death of "William 

On December 27, 1875, the iron foundry belonging to Geo. B. 
"Wright, located on the east side, Avas burned to the ground. The 
cause of the fire Avas unknoAvn. The building and contents were 
a total loss of about $10,000. The foundry Avas the only one in 
the city, and its loss not only fell heavily upon its owners but 
upon the business interests of Austia as Avell. 

On the morning of December 30, 1873, tlie building on the 
corner of Chatham and IMill streets, occupied by tlie store of 
the Farmers and IMfchanics Grocery Association, Avas l)urned to 
tho ground. A portion of the goods Avas removed. Tlicre Avas 
an insurance on the stock of $2,000. 


On April 22, 1873, Ole Gordon, of Northwood, Iowa, was in- 
stantly killed while grinding plov>'s in the shop of Seymour John- 
son, in Austin, by the bursting of the revolving stone. One frag- 
ment weighing nearly 500 pounds, struck the unfortunate man in 
the forehead, at the corner of the right eye, and carried away a 
large portion of his skull and scattered his brains over the entire 
room. It passed through one end of the building and struck in 
the street some sixty feet distant. The stone was entirely new 
and, as far as could then be discovered, perfectly sound. It Avas 
driven by horse power, and at no more than the usual speed. 

The month of January, 1877, was a disastrous one in Austin, 
three fires occurring within six days. The first of these took 
place on the morning of January 13, when six stores and one shop 
were cleaned out, the historic row of wooden buildings, long 
landmarks in Austin, on the west side of Main street being laid 
in ashes. Buildings on the east side of the street were also dam- 
aged by an explosion of powder in one of the burning buildings. 
The total loss was about $13,000, the firm of Hazelwood & Tuttle 
being the heaviest losers. On the same day a dwelling house on 
Maple street, owned by C. W. Freeman and occupied by W. D. 
Phillips, was entirely consumed. Four days later three frame 
buildings on the corner of Mill and Chatham streets, owned by 
A. Matson, were destroyed. 

On October 5, 1880, Austin M-as visited by a fire that laid in 
Avaste four business buildings and caused a loss of about $24,000. 
F. A. Richardson, dry goods, and Fernald & Kimball, furniture, 
were the heaviest losers. Others who lost were Ferd. Kirchoil", 
meats: Mrs. R. I. Smith, millinery; J. E. Slocum, sewing machine 
agent; Dr. J. N. "Wheat; L. N. Griffith; J. J. Hayes & Bro., jew- 
elry: Clemmer & Pooler: ]Mrs, N. C. Mc^Iillan, millinery; Mrs. 
John Morrison, restaurant. 

The Tenvperance Leagues, among the ladies, were powerful 
infiuences toward preserving the law and order of the com- 
munity in the early days. In writing on this subject in 1876, Mi-s. 
R. L. Kimball. said: 

Til" crusade against whisky began in Austin in the winter of 
IS'iG. At that time not a saloon was to be foiuid in the place, but 
at some of the stores intoxicants could be purchased. Accord- 
ingly tlie women started a crusade and threatened to boycoit 
merchants who sold strong drinks. To this agreement thirty- 
two ladies — at that time all but three of them lady residents of 
Austin — subscribed their names. Twenty-eight of these names 
liave been preserved, and arc as follows: Imogene A. Kimball, 
Hattie A. Adams, Ilainiali E. Leveiich, Jennett W. Cook, Julia 
A. Wheat, Triphcna Griffith, Lucy L. Wheeler, Bettie M. Vande- 
grift. Eleanor Biiiiis, Sai-ah Iv l^cmis, Cornelia Benson, 'Mary 


Ann H. Decker, Amanda Adams, Elizabeth Brown, Mary Mc- 
Daniels, Eunice L. Smith, Lois Brown, Martha L. Sanford, Emma 
Allen, Almeda E. Allen, Mary A. Colwell, Eliza A. Allen, ]\Iaria 
M. Everest, Mary A. Padden, Naomi M. Revord, Harriet Ferris, 
Eliza A. McKinley, Elizabeth Tubbs. The merchants were then 
■visited and asked to pledge themselves not to sell liquors. Three 
signatures were obtained, Rufus L. Kimball, W. I. Brown, and 
Aloysius Brown. In 1857, a Ladies' Temperance Society was or- 
ganized by ]Mrs. ,1. L. Davidson 

The Father i\ratthew Temperance Society was organized Feb- 
ruary 5, 1871, with eighteen charter members. February 19, they 
decided to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, and appointed a committee 
to make arrangements. The committee deciding to have a ban- 
ner called on the printers but failed to obtain satisfactory samples 
for even a temporary article. Mrs. W. I. Brown's proposal to 
embroider one, with green silk on white merino, was accepted, 
and work commenced. They were soon out of silk and sent a 
sample to St. Paul, but found none there. A few skeins were 
found in IMcGregor, but not enough. Luckily, Mrs. Oscar Ayers 
had enough to complete it. The committee found it necessary to 
employ all the ladies they could to get it completed in time, and 
their fingers w^rought on each successive letter until the "Father 
Matthew Temperance Society of Aiistin" was complete. Mrs. 
L. A. Sherwood was among these ladies. At the first annual con- 
vention held in St. Paul, February 12, 1872, the society joined 
the state union wdth only eight members. The majority of those 
lost were by resignation or non-payment of dues, and not for 
violation of pledge, which has been the case up to this time. At 
the second convention the society won the Gold Medal for having 
gained the greatest percentage of membership of any society in 
the State, being 100 per cent. At the third convention, held at 
Winona, May 6, 1874, the society had seventy-five members, l)ut 
lost the medal, it being won by Father Ostar's Society of Belle 
Plaine. At th""" fourth convention, in Faribault, June 18, 1875, 
Austin reported sixty-eight membei-s. The Catholic church at 
Austin has still a strong Total Abstinence Society. 

The Sewing Societies of Austin have always been an impor- 
tant factor in its charitable and social life. In 1876, ^Irs. "\V. AV. 
Brownson spoke as follows in regard to those at that time in 
existence : 

One can scarcely estimate all that has Ix-cii accomplished 
and all we enjoy today that has been obtained through the perse- 
vering efforts of little bands of ladies in our different churches, 
known and often spoken of derisively as sewing societies. To 
them is due the credit of many of t!io comfortable surroundings 
of our churches, the result of sonicthing very different from 


gossip. Tn early times, Avhile men were anxiously planning and 
toiling to secure comparatively comfortable homes for their fam- 
ilies, and provide houses of worship, their wives and daughters 
were not idle. They organized sewing societies with good re- 
sults. The ladies of the Methodist church organized the first one 
in Austin, jNIay 17, 1865, since which time it has furnished $1,500 
of the money raised by the society for church erection and char- 
itable purposes. 

June 12, 1865, the ladies of the Baptist church organized their 
sewing society, and in less than two years it raised and paid .$125 
of the expense of the bell to their chux-ch edifice .and other pur- 

November 8, 1865, the ladies of the Congregational church or- 
ganized their sewing society, which has contributed about $2,200 
to the charitable and other objects of the church. A Circle of 
Industry, belonging to the church, has also raised $550 to apply 
on the purchase of the bell. 

The Busy Bees, a society of children, organized in the fall of 
1874, for the purchase of chandeliers for the church, have raised, 
through public entertainments and fairs, $40. 

In 1868 the ladies' sewing society of the Presbyterian church 
was organized, but there are no records of its Avork until 1870, 
between which time and May, 1873, it raised for church purjioses 
$330. Since then the sewing society has had no existence. 

In 1865 the ladies of the Episcopal church organized their 
society, which has since had a vigorous existence, but no records 
have been kept, and I am unable to give results. 

The Universalist sewing society was organized in 1868, and 
has earned $360. 

The Universalist Sunday School Gleaners, a society organized 
in 1875, for the purchase of a Snbbath School library, have raised 
$60 toward their object. 

The ladies of the Lutheran church, soon after its organiza- 
tion, organized a sewing society, which existed about a year and 
a half. They raised $75, Avhieli Avas paid toward the debt of the 





Incorporation of the Village in 1868 — Incorporated as a City- 
Changes in Charter— Elective and Appointed Officers Who 
Have Served the Mvinicipality— Important Acts of the Suc- 
cessive Councils — Home Rule Charter Adopted— Edited by 
John H. Skinner. 

In the early part of 1868, the people living in the hamlet of 
Austin began to feel the need of a government other than the 
supervisor system under Avhieh hamlet and township in common 
had been existing. Consequently a petition was circulated 
among the citizens and presented to the legislature, asking for a 
village government. There being no real opposition to the 
measure the act was passed IMarch 6, 1868, and a tract of laud 
taking in the hamlet and lying west of the Red Cedar river in 
tlie north-central part of the township was duly set aside and in- 
corporated as the village of Austin. 

The act provided that Tyler W. AYoodward, William L. Aus- 
tin and Jeremiah B. Yates should act as .judges of the election, 
which was ordered to be held May 5. The charter authorized 
the election of a mayor, a recorder, an assessor, a justice of the 
peace who should be village justice and three aldermen. The 
aldermen and mayor were to appoint a treasurer, a marshal, an 
overseer for each of road districts into which the village should 
be divided, an attorney and a village surveyor. 

At that time factional feeling ran high in city and county 
and a fusion ticket, proposed by some of the more conservative 
minds, did not materialize. Instead, there were two Republican 
and one Democratic ticket in the field. One Republican party, 
which will be here designated as the independent Republican 
party, held a caucus without having published a formal call, and 
nominated a ticket. Another faction, which will be here desig- 
nated as the regular Republicans, held a meeting in pursuance 
to a call, and nominated a ticket, taking W. L. Austin from the 
independent ticket and placing him in nomination as mayor, and 
also borrowing the name of Seymour Johnson from the independ- 
ent ticket and nominating him as alderman. The independents 
then informally nominated two other candidates for aldermen to 
take the place of the IMessrs. Austin and Jolinson. The Dein- 
oerats nominated a regular ticket. 

The Republicnii party, wliich liad llio majority of votes in 
the city, being tluis split, hist tlic cUTtion. There were some 


charges of fraud, it being alleged that many of those voting were 
railroad men who were not, in the strict meaning of the word, 
residents of Austin. G. M. Cameron was elected mayor. W. L. 
Austin, the regular Republican, received 126 votes and Dr. 0. 
W. Gibson, the independent Republican, received fifty-six. B. J. 
VanValkenburgh, with 166 votes, and J. B. Yates, with 159 votes, 
were elected aldermen. C. C. Hunt, with 150 votes, was tied with 
Jacob Johnson for alderman, with 150 votes. Of the other two 
regular Republicans, E. P. VanValkenburgh received 137 votes 
and Seymour Johnson 125. Of the independent Republicans, H. 
AV. Page received sixty-two votes. C. M. Fernald, forty-three, and 
A. Matson, thirty-nine. For recorder, George Baird, Republican, 
received 155 votes and L. R. Hathaway, Democrat, 188, the latter 
being elected. E. Maloney, Democrat, was elected assessor with 
161 votes, against J. C. Ackley, regular Republican, avIio received 
118 votes, and J. F. Atherton, independent Republican, who re-' 
ceived sixty-two. L. N. Griffith, Democrat, Avas elected village 
iind civil justice, with 166 votes. C. J. Shortt, regular Repub- 
lican, received 135, and Robert Mathes, independent Republican, 
received thirty-two. The Democrats thus appear to have won 
out for every office. A A-ote was also cast for civil justice and 
constables, though no provision for such election was made in 
the charter. 

The first meeting of the Austin village council was held in the 
law office of Cameron & Johnson, ]\Iay 16, 1868. The council was 
called to order by Mayor Cameron, and Aldermen B. J. Van 
Valkenburgh and J. B. Yates were present. By reason of the 
tie vote, the office of the third alderman was declared unfilled, 
and the appointment of Jacob Johnson Avas made to fill the va- 
cancy, wliereupon Mr. Johnson took his seat. The folloAving ap- 
pointments Avere made: Treasurer, "William T. Brown; attorney, 
A. S. Everest; surveyor, D. B. Johnson; marshal, Carlos Fenton. 
The road overseers Avere selected as folloAvs: 1, east of Main 
street, W. T. Manderville; 2, south of Maple and Avest of IMain ; 
8, north of Maple and AA'est of j\Iain, James Kennevan. Fire 
limits Avere established, and a lock-up provided for. 

In 1868, about the time of incorporation, the Aallage contained 
six churches, two schoolhouses, one of Avhich was a brick struc- 
ture, costing about $6,000, two newspapers, nine dry goods stores, 
four grocery stores, three drug stores, four hardware stores, tAVO 
clotliing stores, one book store, two confectionery stores, three 
boot and shoe stores, four millinery stores, tAvo jcAvelry stores, four 
fiour and feed stores, and one agricultural store. In the manufac- 
turing line there Avere one ploAV manufactory, one foundry and 
machine shop, one planing mill, one sash and blind factory, one 
steam saAvmill, three flouring mills, three brick yards, four lum- 


ber yards, one carriage shop and two furniture manufactories. 
There were also two livery stables, three restaurants and three 
billiard halls. Already four large business blocks had been built. 
There were six tloui-ishing churches, one Masonic lodge, one lodge 
of Odd Fellows and two bodies of Good Templars. 11. W. Page 
had a bank here, three good hotels were in operation, and the 
C., M. & St. Paul was still the only railroad, although there were 
rumors of many others. 

In 1869 an amendment to the charter passed the legislature, 
providing, among other changes, for the election by the people of a 
maj'or, recorder, assessor, justice of the peace who should be 
village justice, two other justices of the peace, a marshal, a city 
treasurer, and three aldermen. A road overseer, a village attor- 
ney and a village surveyor were to be appointed. 

At the election of 1869, two tickets were presented. The 
People's Reform ticket Avas largely a temperance move, while 
the opposition party called itself the Citizens" Union ticket. W. 
L. Ausli.i headed the People's Reform ticket, P. B. Basford Avas 
nominated for mayor on the Citizens' Union ticket, and John F. 
Cook was the rallying point of those w^ho favored neither of 
these parties. AA'ith two exceptions, the entire People's Reform 
ticket was elected as follows : Mayor, "W. L. Austin ; aldermen, 
A. J Phelps, J. S. Day and Orlenzer Allen; recorder, L. Boure- 
gard ; treasurer, Stephen M. Darrah ; marshal, Ilenrj^ J. Gillham 
(Gillham ran on the Citizens' Union ticket and defeated Andrew 
Knox); assessor, E. Maloney; ''city and civil justice," C. L. 
Chase: "civil justice," J. H. MeClentic (McClentic ran on the 
Citizens' Union ticket and defeated AY. L. Manderville of the 
People's Refoi'm ticket and B. J. Jones, who ran independently). 
The charter of the village provided for the election of a village 
justice and tAvo justices of the peace, and it will be seen that 
neither the designation nor the number of justices elected agreed 
Avith the charter. A village surveyor and constables were also 
voted for, although there Avas no proA'ision for such balloting in 
• the charter, and in spite of the fact that it had expressly been 
proA'ided that the A'illage surA'cyor should be appointed and not 
elected. E. D. Fenton and George Litchfield Avere the tAvo receiv- 
ing votes for the office of constable, and S. Burke Aviis tlie only 
one A'oted for as A-illage surveyor. The council, at its first meet- 
ing, shoAved a like disregard for the charter, Avhen three road 
overseers instead of one Avere appointed as follows: 1. J. F. Key- 
ser; 2, A. S. Hall; 3, J. C. Smith. D. B. Johnson. Jr., was ap- 
pointed attorney. Later McClentic Avas replaced by "\Y. T. Man- 
derA'ille as "Civil Justice," Hall AA^as replaced by O. W. Firkins 
as road overseer of district No. 2 ; and D. B. Johnson. Jr., Avas re- 
placed hy A. S. Everest as attorney. January 18, 1870, Orlenzer 


Allen resigned as alderman and was replaced by W. W. Brown- 
son, and on July 3, 1870, Sylvester Smith took the place of Alder- 
man Day, who also resigned. 

In 1870 the charter was still further amended. It was pro- 
vided that the village limits should be all of section 3, the north- 
west quarter of section 2, and the Avest half of the west half of the 
northwest quarter of section 2, all in township 102, range 18. 
It was also provided that there should be elected a mayor, three 
aldermen, two justices of the peace (to serve for two years), a 
recorder, an assessor, a treasurer, and two constables (to serve 
for two years). The marshal, the attorney and the road over- 
seer were to be appointed by the council. 

The election of 1870 resulted in a victory of a Union ticket 
over the Republican and Independent tickets, the entire Union 
ticket, with the exception of one constable, being elected as fol- 
lows : Mayor, J. F. Cook ; aldermen, W. ^A^. Brownson, P. B. Bas- 
f ord and H. S. Smith ; recorder, John AA'alsh ; treasurer, I. A. 
Wood; assessor, R. I. Smith; justices, A. J. Phelps and W. H. 
Merrick; constables, 0. J. Johnson (Republican) and T. K. 
Kaiser. The council appointed G. M. Cameron, village attorney; 
John Minette, marshal; H. L. Percival, road overseer. I. A. 
Wood died October 11, and G. G. Clemmer was named in his place 
as village treasurer. 

In 1871, the Adllage received practically a new charter. The 
people were to elect six aldermen, three justices of the peace, 
three constables and one assessor. The six aldermen, who were 
to represent the three wards into which the village was divided, 
were to appoint a president, a recorder and a treasurer from 
their own number, and in addition to this Avere to name road 
overseers, attorney, marshal and printer. 

For the first time, the election Avas held in each of the three 
Avards. In the first Avard, Avhere three tickets, Citizens', Repub- 
lican and Democratic, were presented, the Citizens' ticket Avon, 
and Sylvester Smith and L. N. Griffith Avere elected aldermen. 
In the second Avard the Democratic candidates, H. J. Gillham 
and J. H. C. Huxhold, Avon against the Republican candidates. 
In the third ward the Republicans Avon out against the Dem- 
ocrats and elected E. W. Kells and Charles Cook. William Rich- 
ards, Democrat, was elected assessor. At the organization of the 
council, Sylvester Smith Avas appointed president, L. N. Grif- 
fith, recorder, and H. J. Gillham, treasurer. The folloAving ap- 
pointments were also made : Road oA^erseers : 1, T. Hinchey ; 2, 

BreAver ; 3, R. J. Tyler ; attorney, G. M. Cameron ; mar- 

slial, Carlos Fenton. During the year, Kells resigned as alder- 
man, and on December 1, 1871, his place Avas taken by T. W. 


In 3872, the charter was again amended. The amendment 
took the appointive power practically ont of the hands of the 
council. The people were to elect six aldermen, three justices of 
the peace, three constables, one assessor, one street commissioner, 
one village attorney and three road overseers, while the coun- 
cil was to select from its own numbers a president, a recorder 
and a treasurer. 

The election was devoid of much of the discord that had char- 
acterized the previous selection of officers. A straight Republican 
ticket was placed in nomination against Citizens', People's and 
Democratic tickets. The following officers were elected: At 
large: J. M. Greenman ; assessor, D. J. Tubbs; street commis- 
sioner, J. B. Yates. First ward, aldermen, G. G. Clemmer and 
Seymour Johnson ; justice of the peace, W. H. Merrick ; constable, 
W. B. Graham; road overseer, Thomas Hinchy. Second ward, 
aldermen, H. J. Gillham and J. H. C. Huxhold (Huxhold, W. T. 
AVilkins and N. K. Noble were tied, but upon the casting of lots 
the choice fell iipon Huxhold) ; justice of the peace, T. W. Wood- 
ard; constable, James Konkel; road overseer, Patrick Garaghty. 
Third ward, aldermen, W. W. BroAvnson and G. L. Seofield ; jus- 
tice of the peace. Jesse Rose; constable, John Minette ; road over- 
seer, Thomas Hinchy. The only ones elected on the straight 
Republicaji ticket were Rose, Clemmer and Whipple. Brownson, 
Seofield and Minette were elected on a straight Democratic 
ticket. The others were elected on People's or Citizens' tickets, 
or in the ease of the three officers at large, on a combined Dem- 
ocratic, People's and Citizens' ticket. At the organization of the 
council, G. G. Clemmer was made president; Seymour Johnson, 
recorder, and "W. W. Brownson, treasurer. Mr. Clemmer re- 
signed July 22, and his place was taken by A. J. Phelps ; Mr. 
Seofield resigned April 22, and his place Avas taken by F. A. 

February 23, 1873, the village charter was amended in several 
particulars, and the word "city" substituted throughout for 
"village." Each ward was to have three aldermen, one con- 
stable and one overseer of roads. There were to be elected at 
large a city recorder, a city treasurer, a street commissioner, a 
city attorney and a city assessor. 

Two tickets were in the field, one put up by tlio Republicans 
and the other by a mixture of Democrats and Republicans, called 
the People's ticket. The latter was victorious, witli the excep- 
tion of one alderman eacli, in the second and third wards respec- 
tively, and the city attorney. These candidates were tied in the 
returns, but as two votes had been cast for T. '^L Hawkins the. 
judges decided to regard the intention, and counted these votes 
in favor of I. N. Hawkins, giving him the election by two votes 


over J. X. Greenman. The ticket elected follows : At large: At- 
torney, I. N. Hawkins ; treasurer, W. T. Wilkins ; recorder, 0. H. 
Shepley; assessor, D. T. Tubbs; street commissioner, C. P. Ken- 
yon. First ward, aldermen, P. 0. French, A. Frederick and C. N. 
Beiseker ; road overseer, Geo. B. Morse ; constable, Knut Good- 
son. Second Avard, aldermen, Peter Gies, D. B. Smith and H. A. 
Fairbanks; road overseer, P. Geraghty. Third ward, aldermen, 
J. H. Benson, L. B. Abbott and J. H. Totten ; justice of the peace, 
John Houk ; road overseer, A. Whipple ; constable, John Minette. 
It will be seen that only the third ward voted for a justice, and 
practically only the third ward for constable, Mr. Goodson re- 
ceiving but six votes. The council selected D. B. Smith as presi- 
dent. J. H. Totten resigned October 6, and his place was filled 
November 4, by T. F. Armstrong ; 0. H. Shepley resigned October 
6 and his place was filled November 4, by Russ B. Davis; Isaac 
N. Hawkins resigned October 13, and his place was filled Novem- 
ber 4, by G. M. Cameron. 

In 1874 and 1875 there were no changes in the city charter. 

In 1874, two tickets were in the field. One was designated as 
the ''Anti-Monopolists' " and the other as the "People's." In 
the third ward, the former party only was in the field, though 
there were several independent candidates in the field in that 
ward. A preconcerted efi^ort was made throughout the city to de- 
feat the Anti-Monopolists' candidates for justice of the peace in 
all the wards, but the cfi'ort Avas successful only in the second 
Avard, where R. I. Smith defeated T. ^Y. Woodard. The ticket 
elected Avas as folloAvs : Recorder, R. B. Davis ; city attorney, G. 
M. Cameron ; city assessor, "William Richards ; city treasurer, C. 
W. Austin; street commissioner, Christian Johnson; aldermen, 
-John F. Cook, Seymour Johnson and B. F. Morgan ; J. C. Kaiser, 
R. N. Paden and D. B. Smith ; J. F. Atherton, John Bache and 
John Varger ; justices of the peace L. N. Griffith, R. I. Smith and 
J. S. Putnam ; constables, "William Olson, George Martin and John 
Minette ; road overseers ; R. J. Tyler, P. Geraghty and J. Gal- 
lagher. Bache resigned and Varger did not qualify. An election 
was held April 17 to fill the vacancies, and Thomas Meany and 
C. B. Slade Avere elected. The president of the council this year 
Avas D. B. Smith. 

In 1875, the folloAving officers Avere elected: Recorder, Robert 
Griffith; city attorney, John T. Carey; treasurer, Rudolph Dun- 
kelman ; assessor, John Walsh ; street commissioner, John F. 
Cook ; aldermen, R. 0. French, 0. E. Anderson, A. Friedrich ; E. 
C. Dorr, F. J. Mayhew, D. B. Smith, Michael Collins, Charles B. 
Slade, D. G. Wachlin ; road overseers, S. Gates, Patrick Geraghty, 
Patrick Conlon: constable, C. H. Gatfield. 

Till' iiicorporntiou of tbe city of Austin really dates from 


February 28, 1876, although the name "city" had been used 
since 1873. The new city charter described the limits of the city 
as follows: The north half of section 3; all the south half of 
section 3 lying west of the Cedar river ; all that part of the south- 
west quarter of section 2, surveyed and platted as part of Bal- 
com's addition to the village of Austin; the northwest quarter 
of section 2 ; and the west half of the northeast quarter of section 
2, all in tOAvnship 102, north of range 18, west. There were to be 
tliree wards, one on the west side of the Red Cedar, and two on 
the east side, divided by the center line of Bridge and Center 
streets. There Avere to be elected a mayor, treasurer, recorder 
and one assessor, at large ; and from each ward, two aldermen, 
one justice of the peace and one constable. 

The election took place March 12. Not for several years had 
there been exhibited so great an interest in a local election. 
There were two tickets in the field, the People's and the Repub- 
lican. In the first and third wards the former ticket won out, 
while in the second the latter triumphed, with the exception of 
the constable. W. T. Wilkins, the candidate for treasurer on 
the People's ticket, threw his influence on the side of the oppos- 
ing candidate, but even then was defeated by but one vote. The 
following were elected, all being on the People's ticket unless 
otherwise indicated. At large : !Mayor, P. 0. French ; assessor, 
William Richards (Republican) ; recorder, Robert Griffith (no 
opposition) ; treasurer, R. Dunkelman. First ward, Joseph 
Schwan, H. E. Anderson, aldermen; L. N. Griffith, justice; 
Thomas Riley (independent), constable. Second ward, E. P. 
VanValkenburgh, Oscar Ayers (both Republican), aldermen: T. 
"W. Woodard (Republican), justice; James Konkle, constable. 
Third ward, Thomas Meany. Lewis Beckel, aldermen; J. S. Put- 
nam, justice; John iMinette, constable. The office of Lewis 
Beckel was taken in January, 1877, by C. C. Kinsman. Patrick 
Geraghty was appointed street commissioner and Thomas Riley, 
chief of police. 

The election of 1877 was cjuiet, and while there were two 
tickets in the field, the candidates for most of the important of- 
fices were identical on both sides. In the second ward, Joseph 
Reinsmith and E. J. Phillips wc-re tied for alderman, and by lot 
the choice fell on the former. It was also found that the electors 
had made a mistake in the middle initial of C. A. Pooler, but 
that matter was also satisfactorily settled. The following officers 
were elected: ^Mayor, E. C. Dorr; treasurer, C. A. Pooler; as- 
sessor, Robert ^McDonald : recorder. Robert Griffith ; aldermen 
first ward. George H. "Wilbour; second ward, Joseph Reinsmitii : 
third ward, C. C. Kinsman. Aldermen Schwan, VanValkenburgh 
{<nd ]Meany held over from the previous year. 


In 1878 the question of license and no license was the principal 
issue, the temperance people winning out on the no license propo- 
sition by a vote of 406 to 155. Republican and Democratic tick- 
ets were in the field. In the following list of officers the word 
"Union" does not signify a Union ticket, but indicates that the 
candidate mentioned was nominated on both tickets : Mayor, E. 
P. VanValkenburgh (Union) ; recorder, Robert Griffith (Union) ; 
treasurer, C. A. Pooler (Republican) ; assessor, Oscar Ayers (Re- 
publican). First ward, aldermen, J. B. Yates (Democrat); jus- 
tice, L. N. Griffith (Democrat) ; constable, Thomas Riley (Union). 
Second ward, aldermen, James McGrath (Union) ; justice, N. K. 
Noble (Republican); constable, R. J. McDonald (Republican). 
Third Avard, aldermen, Thomas Meany (Democrat) ; justice, 
Jesse Rose (Republican) : constable, John Minette (Democrat). 
Aldermen "\Yilboiir, Reinsmith and Kinsman held over from the 
preAdous year. J. B. Yates retired October 21, 1878, and his 
place was taken by Seymour Johnson. Joseph Reinsmith re- 
tired the same date and his office was filled by E. C. Dorr. Pat- 
rick Geraghty, wlio was appointed street commissioner, resigned 
July 1, and his place Avas taken by J. Woodard. Thomas Riley 
Avas chief of police. 

In 1879 the city Avent back to the license plan, the vote being 
283 to 239. The People's ticket Avas Adctorious, AAath the excep- 
tion of one instance in the second Avard, AA'here H. W. Page, the 
temperance candidate, Avon out over W. L. Hollister. The entire 
list of officers for the year 1879 is as folloAVs: Mayor, H. B. 
Ball; aldermen, Seymour Johnson (held OA^er), George E. "Wil- 
bour, James McGrath (held over), Harlan "VY. Page, Thomas 
Meany (held over), and Jacob Weisel; recorder, Robert Griffith; 
treasurer, C. A. Pooler; assessor, Oscar Ayers; street commis- 
sioner, T. K. Keyser ; chief of police, Thomas Riley. 

In 1880, the officers of the city were as folloAvs : Mayor, H. B. 
Ball ; treasurer. Fay R. Smith : recorder, Robert Griffith ; assessor, 
E. D. Fenton ; aldermen, Peter Gies, E. J. Phillips, A. Fairbanks ; 
justices, L. N. Griffith, N. K. Noble, E. H. Gerard; constables, 
Thomas Riley, James Konkle, John IMinette. The vote in favor 
of license Avas 249 to 180. The hold-over aldermen w^ere George 
E. Wilbour, Harlan W. Page and Jacob "Weisel. The place of A. 
Fairbanks Avas taken by D. J. Ames, May 7, 1880. Patrick 
Geraghty was appointed street commissioner and Thomas Riley 
chief of police. 

In, 1881, the Republican ticket Avas elected throughout, Avith 
the exception of one alderman in the first Avard, George W. Fish 
being elected over George E. Wilbour. The complete list of of- 
ficers follows: 'Mayor. E. C. Dorr: recorder, Robert Griffith; 
treasurer. F. R. Smitli ; assessor, Josepli Adams: aldermen, George 


W. Fish, R. 0. Hall, Jacob Weisel. Vote in favor of court house 
bonds, 398 to 14; vote in favor of license, 246 to 106. Alderineu 
Gies, Phillips and Ames held over. The street commissioner and 
chief of police were the same as during the previous year. 

In 1882, the following officers were elected: Mayor, E. C. 
Dorr; treasurer. Fay R. Smith; assessor, G. E. Wilbour; recorder, 
Robert Griffith; aldermen. Orris Hayes, E. J. Phillips, Thomas 
Meany : justices, L. N. Griffith, N. K. Noble and J. B. AYaddick ; 
constables, Thomas Riley, Y. T. Cameron and William Way. 

In 1883 the officers elected were: Mayor, E. C. Dorr; asses- 
sor, George E. Wilbour; treasurer, J. H. Patterson; recorder, 
Robert Griffith ; aldermen, H. S. Smith, R. 0. Hall, J. Weisel. A. 
Frederick, who was nominated for mayor, declined to run. 

In 1884, E. C. Dorr was again elected. The other officers 
elected were : Assessor, G. E. Wilbour ; treasurer, J. H. Patter- 
son; recorder, Robert Griffith; justices, James D. Sheedy and N. 
K. Noble ; aldermen, Ed. A. Dallager, Geo. II. Litchfield and C. J. 
Miller; constables, Thomas Rilev, Y. T. Cameron and William 
H. Way. 

In 1885, Lafayette French became mayor. The other officers 
elected were: Recorder, Robert Griffith; treasurer, J. H. Patter- 
son ; assessor, F. K. Keyser ; aldermen, Joseph Adams, P. C. Sul- 
livan and H. Herzog. 

In 1886 all the Republican candidates were elected except one, 
A. H. Loucks, a Democrat, being elected treasurer. The full list 
of officers elected consisted of: Mayor, Lafayette French; re- 
corder, Robert Griffith ; treasurer. A. H. Loucks ; assessor, George 
E. Wilbour ; aldermen, C. H. Davidson. Andrew Knox, C. J. Mil- 
ler; justices, N. K. Noble, M. J. Engle, J. D. Sheedy; constables, 
Thomas Riley, Jolm Beckel, William Way. 

In 1887 the new charter provided for the election of an alder- 
man at large as well as one from each of the wards. The officers 
elected were : Mayor, Lafayette French ; recorder, J. H. JNIake- 
peace ; treasurer, A. H. Loucks ; assessor, George E. Wilbour ; 
aldermen, C. N. Beiseker, L. E. Day, B. W. Lovell, D. A. McFad- 
den: constables (to fill vacancies), E. R. Earl, John Beckel. 

In 1888, the Democrats elected a mayor and the alderman at 
large. The officers elected were : Mayor, O. W. Gibson ; recorder. 
Johan Wold ; assessor, George E. Wilbour ; trea.surer, N. F. Ban- 
field ; aldermen, William Todd, Seymour Johnson. C. L. West, C. 
J. Miller; justices, James Sheedy, N. K. Noble, E. Myers; eon- 
stables, C. Ed Clark, Jerry Ingalls, John Beckel. The council 
elected Patrick Geraghty street commissioner. ^Tayor Gib.son 
nominated Y. T. Cameron chief of police, but the council refused 
to confirm the appointment. As soon as the vote was announced. 
Mayor Gibson nominated J. H. INFakepeace for the place and he 


also failed of confirmation, so Jerry Ingalls continued to hold 
the office of chief of police. Dr. Phillips resigned as chairman 
of the board of health and Dr. J. N. Wheat was appointed to till 
the vacancy. It was in this year that Ira Padden, who for so 
many years represented the third ward, came to the city council. 
A special election was held on April 19 of this year to elect an 
alderman. Thomas Meany received 102 votes and William Du- 
gan 103 votes. When the council came to canvass the vote, it 
passed a resolution declaring the election invalid ; the returns 
appeared illegal on the face. Another election Avas held May 1, 
Avhen Ira Padden secured all but seven of the votes east at the 
election. J. M. Greenman was elected city attorney and superin- 
tendent of the water works. J. H. Makepeace, who failed to 
become chief of police, was made fire marshal July 6. 

In 1889, the following ticket was elected: Mayor, 0. W. 
Gibson ; alderman at large, T. F. Leonard ; treasurer, N. F. Ban- 
field ; assessor, George E. Wilbour ; recorder, Johan Wold ; alder- 
men, L. E. Day, E. J. Phillips, Ira Padden; justice of the peace, 
E. Myers. Appointments were made as follows: Chief of po- 
lice, J. E. Ingalls; J. M. Greenman, city attorney and superin- 
tendent of the water Avorks ; E. J. Ames, fire marshal. Alder- 
man Phillips resigned November 1, and B. 'W. LoA'ell Avas chosen 
by the council to fill the vacancy. 

In 1890 the ticket elected was: Mayor, 0. W. Gibson; treas- 
urer, N. P. Banfield ; assessor, George E. Wilbour; recorder, 
Johan Wold; aldermen, Joseph Adams, Seymour Johnson, C. L. 
West, J. T. Sargent, L. G. Campbell ; justices, J. D. Sheedy, N. K. 
Noble, F. H. Stokes; constables, F. Riley, J. E. Ingalls, John 
Beckel. The folloAving appointments were made: Joseph 
Lamping, street commissioner : E. J. Ames, fire marshal. October 
3, Lamping resigned and E. J. McGovern was elected to fill 
the vacancy. Greenman continued to hold the offices of superin- 
tendent of Avater Avorks and city attorney and Ingalls Avas 
chief of police. 

In 1891, the folloAving ticket Avas elected: ]Mayor, C. H. 
Johnson ; treasurer, N. F. Banfield ; assessor, George E. Wil- 
bour ; recorder, Johan Wold; aldermen, Joseph Adams, L. A. 
Foots, J. T. Sargent, Ira Padden ; justices of the peace, W. H. 
Hazel, W. W. Ranney. The following appointments Avere made: 
J. I\r. Girreenman, city attorney and superintendent of Avater 
Avorks; Jerry Ingalls. chief of police; E. J. Ames, fire marshal; 
E. J. McGovern, street commissioner. William Todd was appointed 
to succeed M. Becker, chief engineer of the Avater works. This 
year the council voted to use the old Methodist church for a 
city linll. T!i(> building stood on the site of the Carnegie Public 


Library. The question of liquor license had been submitted to 
the people, the vote being, for license 498, and against 119. 

In 1892, the officers elected were: Mayor, C. II. Johnson; 
treasurer. N. F. Banfield; assessor, G. E. Wilbour; recorder, 
Johan Wold; aldermen, Joseph Adams, John Robertson, Wilson 
Beach (for one year), H. S. Merrill (for two years), L. G. Camp- 
bell ; justices of the peace, C. J. Short, W. AV. Ranney, F. II. 
Stokes ; constables, Frank Riley, J. E. Ingalls, Grant Miller. The 
following appointments were made : City attorney and superin- 
tendent of water works, J. M. Greenman ; fire chief, E. J. Ames ; 
street commissioner, E. J. McGovern ; chief of police, Jerry In- 
galls. On May 20, Alderman Foote resigned and George Burn- 
ham was elected by the council to fill the vacancy. H. S. Merrill 
also resigned from the board and T. F. Leonard was elected 
hy the council to fill the vacancy. It is interesting to know that 
the council passed the first street-paving resolution and also 
inaiigurated the present sewer system as mapped out by Expert 
Engineer Tchirgi. 

In 1893, the following officers were elected and appointments 
made : Mayor, C. H. Johnson ; recorder, Johan Wold ; treasurer, 
J. L. Mitchell; assessor, George E. Wilbour; aldermen, E. C. 
Dorr, A. W. Wright, T. F. Leonard (to fill vacancy), R. E. Shep- 
herd, Ira Padden; constable, third ward, N. N. Wilsey. For 
license 395, against 233. City attorney and superintendent of 
water works. J. M. Greenman; fire marshal, Thomas Dugan; 
chief of police, J. E. Ingalls ; street commissioner, Chris Han- 
son; chairman board of health. Dr. Wheat. The records show 
that on ]\Iay 5. James M. Gait became chief of police. 

LTp to this time Austin had used the ordinary kerosene lamps 
for street lights and each council was called upon to decide who 
should be official lamp lighter from among a large number of 
applicants. In the summer of 1893, a private concern known as 
the Austin Electric Light Company asked the city to enter into 
a contract for lighting the city with electricity. This innova- 
tion met with unanimous approbation of the council and the of- 
ficial lamp lighter, like Othello, lost his occupation. 

In 1894, a Republican mayor was elected for the first time in 
seven years, being placed in office by a majority of twenty- 
five votes, out of 1,049 cast. The complete ticket elected was: 
Mayor, Lyman D. Baird : recorder, Johan Wold ; treasurer, H. L. 
Banfield ; assessor, J. C. Belding : aldermen. Jacob Weisel, John 
Robertson. Henry Curtis. John Gulden: justices. J. E. Robin- 
son, AV. AV. Ranney. F. II. Stokes: constables. J. AI. Gait, John 
Alanning, L. N. AAlllsey. Tlie year 1894 was a strenuous one. 
The great railway strike had thrown many men out of work, 
and the council, to keep the unemployed, hired many of them 


to work on city improvements. Feeling against the railroads 
ran high and when, the C, M. & St. P. road built a high board 
fence along the east side of its yards, shutting off all travel on 
certain streets that crossed the yards, there was great indigna- 
tion. The council held a special meeting and passed a resolu- 
tion condemning the action of the railroad in "unlawfully ob- 
structing some of our streets" and ordered street superintendent 
Chris Hanson to tear down the fence where Bridge street crossed 
the tracks. Tlie railroad got busy and at the next meeting of 
the council, which was held March 2, 1895, the same council 
that ordered the fence torn down, ordered the same street 
superintendent to erect the fence and put it in as good condi- 
tion as if was originally. A petition addressed to the railroad 
company by the council asked that the company allow the use 
of a foot-path across the tracks, the city agreeing to pay the 
salary of a flagman to be stationed at the crossing. The coun- 
cil also asked the county commissioners to erect a A'iaduct 
over the tracks. That body Avas not sure that the county funds 
could be expended for such a purpose, but agreed to erect such 
a structure, provided the city would agree to repay the county 
the sum of $5,000, the cost of the viaduct, should the courts 
decide that the couny board had ordered contrary to law. The 
iron bridge which spans the yards at the east end of Water 
street is a monument to the council of 1894. That council elected 
was : L. D. Baird, mayor ; Jacob Weisel, alderman at large ; 
John Robertson, Henry Curtis and J. L. Gulden; H. L. Banfield, 
treasurer; Johan Wold, recorder. The latter died in October 
and Herman Gunz was elected to fill the vacancy. Other elective 
officers that year were : Justice of the peace, J. E. Robinson, W. 
W. Ranney, F. H. Stokes; constables, J. AV. Manning and L. N. 
Wilsey. The city voted for license, 664 to 302. The appointive 
officers were: J. M. Gait, chief of police; Chris Hanson, superin- 
tendent of streets ; Thomas Dugan, fire chief, and J. M. Green- 
man, city attorney and superintendent of tlie water works. 

In 1895, three independent candidates were elected, C. H. 
Johnson, T. M. Foster and A. W. Wright. The entire list elected 
was as follows : Mayor, C. H. Johnson ; treasurer, H. L. Banfield ; 
recorder, T. M. Foster; assessor, J. C. Belding; aldermen, A. W. 
AVright, S. A. Emerson, M. J. Haney and Ira Padden. The city 
voted for license, but a curious fact is that the records of the 
city do not show what the vote was, the statement being made, 
"On motion the license vote was placed on file." The appointive 
officers that year were, cliief of police, J. M. Gait; city attorney 
and superintendent of water works, J. M. Greenman ; fire chief, 
Tliomas Dugan ; street superintendent, B. Maxwell. 

The year 1896 found the city divided into two factions, the 


uorthenders and the southeuders. 'I'lie foi'inci- Avanlcd llic noi'lli 
end of the city developed, the others wanted to sec tlie south, 
end grow. The fight came on in a contest for the k)cation of a 
city hall. L. D. Baird ofifered the city a deed for land at the 
north end of Main street. F. A. Ticknor, acting for the south- 
enders, ofifered the city the McKenna lots at the corner of Bridge 
and River streets. The council adopted a resolution accepting 
Mr. Baird 's land. The newly elected Mayor, F. I. Crane, promptly 
vetoed the resolution. The council as promptly passed it ovet 
his head and an architect Avas ordered to draw plans for the 
new biiilding. Those plans are now buried under the dust and 
await other years for city development. The election of 1896 
resulted as follows : IMayor. F. I. Crane ; treasurer, J. L. Mitchell ; 
recorder, T. M. Foster : assessor, J. C. Belding ; aldermen, George 
A. Hormel, Joseph Adams, H. A. Avery, J. L. Gulden; justices 
of peace, J. E. Robinson, W. AY. Ranney, F. H. Stokes ; constables, 
J. M. Gait, John Manning, John Beckel; chief of police, J. M. 
Gait; street superintendent. Burr Maxwell; attorney and superin- 
tendent of water Avorks, J. M. Greenman. Dr. AA^heat, Avho for 
many years had been chairman of the board of health, was suc- 
ceeded by Dr. McKenna. 

In 1897 the result of the election was: Mayor, F. I. Crane; 
trea.surer, J. L. ^Mitchell ; assessor, J. C. Belding ; recorder, T. N. 
Foster; aldermen, George Hormel, S. A. Emerson, John Robert- 
son, ]\I. J. Haney and Ira Padden. James D. Smith was ap- 
pointed street commissioner. The other officers remained the 
same as in 1896. License carried by a majority of sixty-one, 
wliich was an indication of the.groAving "dry" sentiment. 

In 1898 there Avas a strenuous temperance campaign, result- 
ing in a victory for no license by 102 votes. This Avas the first 
time that Austin had been "dry" in tAA'enty years, and the usukl 
crop of "blind pigs" resulted. The entire ticket elected AvaS: 
Mayor, F. I. Crane ; treasurer, J. L. Mitchell ; recorder, T. M. 
Foster ; assessor, J. C. Belding ; aldermen, AY. C. Holmes, John 
Robertson, Percy Bump and Alex. S. Campbell; justices, John 
E. Robinson, AY. AY. Ranney. F. H. Stokes; constables, J. M. 
Gait and Herbert Bordy. The appointments Avere as follows: 
Chief of police, J. M. Gait; city attorney, A. AY. AN^right. This 
year the Austin Gas. Light & Heating Company Avas granted a 
franchise. A controversy arose as to Avhat caused the death of 
shade trees on Chatham street. Some belicA-ed that gas leaking 
from the mains Avas the cause. The council held several meet- 
ings, at which the subject AA'as thoroughly discussed. In July; 
1899, the company surrendered its charter. It is perhaps sig- 
nificant tbat the city council began to look for an additional 
Avater supply Avitliin three months after the citj' had voted out 


the saloons. Tliis year the Herzog, Holmes and Saehse springs 
were measured, pipe was purchased and the right of way se- 
cured for bringing the water to the city. The council of the 
following year sold the pipe, rescinded the resolution to buy the 
springs and had several new wells sunk at the Avater works 

The year 1S99 was one of much discussion of the liquor ques- 
tion. The Prohibition forces printed a weekly paper called 
the "Search Light," which was edited by a number of the Austin 
clergymen. Many who had voted "dry" in 1898 felt that public 
sentiment was not strong enough to secure law enforcement and 
they swung over to the "wet" side. The discussion grew most 
bitter as election day, March 14, drew near. On election morn- 
ing an extra edition of the "Search Light" had been distributed 
before breakfast to the home of every voter. At 8 a. m. the 
"W. C. T. U. paraded the streets in a snow squall. They carried 
a large picture of Frances Willard and a score of banners with 
inscriptions, "Will Austin Surrender to Rum Rebellion?" "Woe 
to the Man Who Putteth the Bottle to his Neighbor's Lips," etc. 
When the votes were counted it was found that Austin had gone 
Avet by a majority of 216 A'otes. That night the extreme "wet" 
element, provided with brooms, bottles and other articles, pa- 
raded the streets. The ticket elected was: Mayor, Alex. S. 
Campbell: treasurer, J. L. Mitchell; recorder, T. M. Foster; as- 
sessor, S. A. Smith ; aldermen, H. Birkett, C. F. Cook, Thomas 
Mann, Ira Padden ; justice, J. C. Hemer. 

Mayor-elect Campbell resigned his position as alderman of 
the third ward, and the council elected George H. Sutton to fill 
the vacancy. J. M. Greenman was chosen city attorney. Dr. 
W. L. Hollister became chairman of the board of health. Thomas 
Dugan, fire marshal : J. D. Smith, street commissioner, and J. M. 
Gait, chief of police. 

The council had the names of its members inscribed on a 
marble tablet and set in the Avails of the municipal plant. The 
contract that the city had Avith the Austin Electric Light plant 
expired in 1899 and the company asked for a reneAval. The 
council's ansAver was a resolution passed April 8, 1899, authoriz- 
ing the purchasing committee to bviy machinery for an electric 
light plant. On May 5, this resolution Avas rescinded and the 
committee Avas ordered to secure information as to the cost of an 
electric light plant. June 2 an expert electrician was brought to 
the city from St. Paul to give the desired information. On Sep- 
tember 15 plans were adopted and bids were accepted for a plant. 
The Austin Electric Company secured an injunction. The coun- 
cil held a special meeting and passed a resolution to sever all 
business relations Avitb the comiKiny October .'11. Tlie eas(^ 


dragged on through tlie rest of the year and M^as not settled 
until tlie council of 1900, on April 10, purchased the Electric 
Light plant for $16,000 and added it to the new one. The coun- 
cil of 1899 had other troubles, for Austin had an epidemic of 
smallpox and the council purchased a piece of land in tlie 
southeast part of the city. The building was just ready for oc- 
cupancy when it was burned to the ground. The council offered 
a reward of $500 for evidence leading to the discovery of the 
fire bug, but the city never had to pay the reward. 

1900 — Officers were elected this year as follows: Mayor, 
Alexander Campbell; recorder, T. M. Foster; treasurer, Alfred 
Johnson ; assessor, S. A. Smith ; aldermen, H. Birkett, John Rob- 
ertson, Percy Bump, George Sutton; justices, J. E. Eobinson, H. 
N. Lane, J. Hemmer; constables, R. A. Carmiehael, J. M. Gait 
and Tony Beckel. License carried by a majority of 356. The 
following appointments were made: Chief of police, J. M. Gait; 
city attorney, A. W. "Wright; city surveyor, M. N. Clausen; fire 
marshal, J. L. Gulden: street commisisoner, J. D. Smith; chair- 
man board of health. Dr. AV. L. Hollister. The council received 
a petition that remains a novel one to this day in the annals of 
the city. This petition came from the saloonkeepers, asking that 
the council nail up all rear and side entrances to the saloons and 
enforce the law in regard to minors entering saloons. 

1901 — Officers were elected as follows: Mayor, C. L. West; 
treasurer, Alfred E. Johnson; recorder, T. M. Foster; assessor, 
S. A. Smith; aldermen, George A. Hormel, Fred E. Gleason, Dr. 
H. A. Avery and John L. Gulden. License vote 677, against 
228. The following appointments Avere made : City attorney, 
A. AY. AYright : surveyor, M. N. Clausen ; fire marshal, Thomas 
IMann ; street commissioner, Barney Bushman ; chief of police, J. 
M. Gait ; chairman board of health. Dr. AY. L. Hollister ; superin- 
tendent of water works, AYilliam Todd. George Sutton resigned 
as alderman on April 5, and the council elected John A. Ander- 
son to fill the vacancy. On July 19, the council ordered another 
v;ell to be driven to increase the water supply of the city and 
installed water meters. On November 28, Lafayette French an- 
nounced to the council that Mr. and IMrs. Thomas Beatty had 
given three acres of land, E. G. Tompkins three acres of land, 
and that five acres more had been purchased by popular sub- 
scription, all lying on the east bank of the Cedar and south of 
the city for park purposes. Later two acres more were pur- 
chased. The council in recognition of the work done by Afr. 
French in securing the land for park purposes, gave it the name 
of Lafayette park. The folloAving summer a "grubbing bee" 
was held, at which lawyers, doctors, merchants and laboring 
men devoted a day to improving the property. 


1902 — The following officers were elected: Mayor, Dr. C. II. 
Johnson; treasurer, A. E. Johnson; recorder, T. M. Foster; as- 
sessor, S. A. Smith; aldermen, George A. Hormel, John Robert- 
son, P. Bump, John Konovsky; justices, J. E. Robinson, H. N. 
Lane, J. Hemmer; constables, R. A. Carmichael, J. M. Gait and 
Tony Beckel. The following appointments were made: City 
attorney, A. W. Wright; surveyor, G. Allen; fire marshal, Thos. 
Mann ; eliief of police, J. M. Gait ; street commissioner, Barney 
Bushman. In Api-il, 1902, a meeting was held, to Avhich the 
property owners of Main street had been invited to discuss the 
question of paving that street. Tliere was much opposition to 
the proposed improvement. 

On May 20. the property of the Christian church at the corner 
of Maple and Chatbam streets was purchased for a hose houst,' 
and the church altered for this new usage. 

On Juno 30, the sum of $15,000 was appropriated to erect a 
building for the Southern Minnesota Normal College. 

On August 5, the council decided to install a day electric 
service to be ready for use November 1. F. H. McCuUoch, a 
printer, was the first to use the new power. 

During the years 1900 and 1901 there had been much agitation 
for the paving of ]\Iain and Water streets. The charter restricted 
the action of the council along permanent improA'ement lines. On 
March 26, 1902, a petition of ten per cent of the voters who had 
voted at the last election, Avhich had been held but two weeks 
previous, was x^resented to Judge Kingsley of the district court, 
requesting him to name a board to prepare and submit to the 
voters a new charter. In compliance with that request the fol- 
lowing were named : James D. Sheedy, Seymour Johnson. La- 
fayette French, C. I. Johnson, H. A. Avery, Ed Barr, C. L. West, 
A. W. Wright, George Merrick, J. M. Greenman, E. C. Kenney, 
Alex S. Campbell, J. L. Gulden, Ira Padden and Joseph Regner. 

The board met and elected C. L. West president, and Arthur 
Wright secretary. It held frequent meetings during the ensu- 
ing months, and on January 2, 1903, the new charter was pre- 
sented to the city council. It Avas signed by but nine of the 
board, C. L. West, A. W. Wright, J. L. Gulden, C. I. Johnson, 
Lafayette French, Hoyt A. Avery, J. ]\I. Greenman, E. C. Kenney, 
and J. D. Sheedy, 

On January 16, a petition signed by eighty-tAvo citizens Avas 
presented to the city council requesting that a special election 
be called for February L3, to vote upon the charter. In the 
raeanAvhile the proposed charter had been printed in the daily 
papers and much opposition had appeared. The people of the 
third Avard objected to a redistricting of the city into four AA-^ards, 
Avliifli Avould make material changes in the boundaries of that 


■ward. The no license people objected to a provision that made 
it necessary to secure twenty-five per cent of the voters on a 
petition to have the liquor question submitted to the people. 
'Under the old charter it required but ten per cent. Many of 
the voters objected to a section that barred ail but free holders 
from holding office. The liquor interests opposed the new meas- 
ure because it provided for the mandatory revocation of liquor 
licenses for the violation of any city ordinance or state law per- 
taining to the business. 

In order to pass the charter four-sevenths of the votes cast 
were required to be in favor of the charter. The vote was 272 
in favor and 262 against. 

The board again met and on March 3 were ready with an 
amended charter. This was printed in full in the daily papers 
Avith explanatory notes by A. W. Wright. A mass meeting was 
also held at the court house. The objectionable features hacj 
been eliminated and the charter went before the people at an 
election held March 10. There was still much opposition to the 
proposed measure and it was carried by a majority of less than 
one vote. 

The new cliarter provided for biennial election, all of the 
old aldermen's terms to expire at the same time, the aldermen 
holding office at the time of the passage of the charter to hold 
until their time expired. Under the new charter the municipal 
electric plant and water works passed into the hands of a com- 
mission, and from the control of the city council. 

The new charter has been of great advantage in some re- 
spects, but in others there is no doubt but the city could have 
made more permanent improvements under the statute laws of 
tlie state than under the home-rule charter. 

The officers elected in 1903 were: Mayor, C. F. Cook; treas- 
lu-er, J. L. Mitchell ; recorder, T. M. Foster ; assessor, E. P. Kelley ; 
aldermen, P. H. Zender, Peter Johnson, Frank Hall and George 
Beckel. The new charter went into effect April 11, 1903. Mayor 
Cook appointed as commissioners of the electric light, power and 
water board, S. D. Catherwood, for one year; J. D. Sheedy, for 
tAvo years; A. S. Campbell, for three years; George A. Horrael, 
for four years, and J. L. Gulden for five years. ]Mr. Catherwood 
resigned from the board November 6, and was succeeded by 
A. M. Smith. 

Mayor Cook appointed for the first park board, Thomas 
Beatty, one year; F. E. Gleason, two years; George A. i^uttoii, 
three years; Lafayette ^''rencli, four years, and Anton Friedrich 
for five years. 

The council elected B. Bushman, street commissioner; Tliomas 
Dugan, fire chief, and Thomas Pridham, city attorney. 


The council granted a franchise to the new organized Inter- 
state Telegraph & Telephone Company, passed an anti-spitting 
on the sidewalk ordinance and in January, 1904, condemned the 
opera house and several other places of public amusement, as 
fire traps. The owners of the opera house announced to the 
council: "The building will never again be opened as an opera 
house." Later a part of the stage caved in. 

1904-1905— Mayor, C. F. Cook; treasurer, J. L. Mitchell; as- 
sessor, L. B. Fairbanks ; aldermen, Thomas Riley, Percy Bump, 
W. J. Bell, Peter Johnson, F. 0. Hall, Geo. Beekel, Ira Padden; 
justices, J. E. Robinson, H. N. Lane, George Bailey. The fol- 
lowing appointments were made : T. H. Pridham, city attorney ; 
Nels Jensen, fire chief; Barney Bushman, street commissioner; 
G. H. Allen, city surveyor. On September 16, received a peti- 
tion for the paving of Main street. On September 26, the council 
met with the property holders, several of whom were much op- 
l)0sed to the proposed improvement. The city had a floating in- 
debtedness of something over $20,000, and a special election was 
held November 8, at which bonds were voted to take up this iu- 
debtetlness and at the same time an amendment to the charter 

On March 5, 1905, the council passed the necessary resolu- 
tions for the paving of Main street between Oakland avenue and 
Lansing avenue, a block each way on each of the intei'secting 
streets, and Water street from Railway street to St. Paul street. 

1906-1907 — Mayor, George Sutton; treasurer, J. L. Mitchell; 
assessor, L. B. Fairbanks; aldermen, Peter Johnson, AY. J. Bell, 
T. C. E. Officer, Dr. A. M. Lewis, C. J. McNally, Ira Padden. 
P. H. Zender ; justices, John Fairbanks, H. N. Lane, J. C. Hemer. 
T. M. Foster was appointed recorder. The following appoint- 
ments were made : City attorney, T. H. Pridham ; city engineer, 
M. N. Clausen; fire chief, N. P. Jensen; street superintendent. 

B. Bushman. The council appropriated $250 for the San Fran- 
cisco earthquake sufferers. The paving question was taken up 
February 1, 1907, and on February 15 the council advertised for 
Inds for paving Water street with brick. A strong remonstrance 
was made by some of the property owners, who engaged Attorney 
Fay Greenman and H. H. Dunn, of Albert Lea, as counsel for the 
protestants. A special meeting of the council was held, at which 
the attendance was so great that the meeting was adjourned to 
the court room. As a majority of the property owners favored 
]iaving, the woi'k was carried to completion. 

1908-1909— ^layor, George Siitton ; treasurer, J. L. Mitchell; 
assessor, Jacob Gute ; aldermen, Joseph Fitzhun, C. F. Stillmau, 

C. M. Emmons, Percy Bump, Ira Padden, Jolm j\IcCormick, 
P. n. Zender; justices, Jolui ?'iiirl)iinks, W. W. Ranny, David 


Cooper. T. ]M. Foster was appoiuted recorder. The election was 
a close and bitter one for the position of alderman-at-large, P. H. 
Zender defeating Peter Johnson for the office. The latter asked 
that the council appropriate the sum of $500 to investigate the 
charge that there had been illegal voting at the election, his point 
being that certain (S. M. N.) college students had voted who 
v/ere not residents of the city. The council took no action on 
tlie matter. 

The board of aldermen took up the question of building a fire 
engine house, armory and city hall, all in one building, and had 
plans drawn which were accepted. It went before the people 
at a special election, when the proposition was carried to build 
a city hall, armory and engine house at an expense "to exceed 
$5,000." The council then voted to build, but before it got to 
work the terms of the aldermen had expired and another set of 
plans and specifications were added to those already accepted 
ten years previous. Mayor Sutton presided over the council 
for the last time April 7, 1909, and Alderman Zender became 
acting mayor. He then went to Omaha and entered the Omaha 
General Hospital for treatment, where he died July 1, the news 
being broken to the people by the tolling of the church bells. 
The body Avas brought to the city over the C. G. W. road, and 
was met at the depot by a large and sorrowing body of citizens. 
On Saturday, July 3, the body was taken to the corridor of the 
court house, where it lay in state, guarded by four members of 
Co. G, M. N. G., in uniform. From 4 to 5 o'clock all the stores 
were closed, and 970 of our people filed past the casket. The 
funeral occurred on Sunday, July 4, the escort being Co. G, 
Mclntyre Post, G. A. R. ; the firemen, Austin Lodge, 414, B. P. 
0. E., and other orders. The service was held in Christ Epis- 
copal church and the body was buried in Oakwood cemetery. 

1910-1911— :\Iayor, Alex S. Campbell; treasurer, J. L. Mitch- 
ell ; assessor, John Reding ; aldermen, A. C. Page, W. J. Bell, F. E. 
Gleason, A. Hotson, P. A. Reilly, Ira Paden, Franklin Clay; 
justices, John Fairbanks, W. AY. Ranney, Ray Chaffee. The fol- 
lowing appointments were nuide: Recorder, Frank Cronon; chief 
of police, J. M. Gait; chief of fire department, N. P. Jensen; 
chairman of board of health. Dr. H. F. Pierson; street commis- 
sioner, Robert Parkins. T. H. Pridham, who was appointed 
attorney, moved from the city and the council elected Jacob 
Nicholsen for the unexpired term. 

A special election was held and bonds to tlie amount of 
$.30,000 were voted to purchase the Sargeaut Springs and to 
bring the water to the city for domestic purposes. The council 
was also authorized to purchase the farm on which the si)rings 


Avere located for the sum of $18,500. The council at once bought 
the farm and springs and closed a contract for bringing the 
■water to the city. The work was completed June 1, 1911. 



Importance of the Mercantile Interests^Beginning of Industry — 
Austin in 1867— The Railroad Era— Austin in 1876— Austin 
in 1884 — The Modern Period — Manufacturing Interests — First 
Mill — Former Industries — Modern Industries. — Edited by 
Charles L. West. 

Austin's Avholesale and retail trade covers twenty-two blocks 
of the city's streets. Every line of commercial trade is repre- 
sented. Not for ten years has there been a commercial failure 
of any importance. Austin's business houses are all on a tirm 
financial basis and are conducted conservatively. Several of the 
merchants have been in business here for over thirty years. The 
stores are modeim and the stock carried up-to-date, the mer- 
chants going to Chicago and New York to personally inspect the 
stock of goods which they place before the people. Prices are 
reasonable in all lines, and it is not an unusual thing for an 
Austin merchant to ship goods to St. Paul and Minneapolis to 
customers who have found it cheaper to buy certain lines of 
goods in this city. 


The first move toward business here was in the fall of 1854, 
when Chauncey Leverieh commenced the building of a saw mill, 
which was completed in the spring of 1855. The first store in 
the place was opened by A. B. Vanghan and his son, P. D. 
Vaughan, who came here in the spring of 1855, bringing a stock 
of goods with them from Wisconsin. In 1856 they sold to 
Aloysias Brown, and moved to Lansing. 

Aloysius Brown was born near Emmetsburg, Md., January 
18, 1793, and married Elizabeth Drury. In 1856, he came to Aust; 
tin and engaged in trade as before stated. His stock of goods 
was procured at Winona and IMcGregor, and were drawn here by 
ox teams. In 1857-58 the people depended upon ^Nlr. Brown to 
furnish thoni with flour and corn meal, wliicli was drawn from 


Chatfield and Decorah, lo^va. At times the roads were so bad 
that it was almost impossible for a team to pass over, or rather 
through them, and it required many days to make the journey. 
As soon as it was learned that teams had been dispatched for a 
)iew supply of meal, gold coin and sacks with the names of the 
owners and amount of meal required securely tied to each, were 
deposited with Mr. Brown to make sure of a portion of the meaj: 
On its arrival the amounts were put into each sack and set away 
for those who had paid for it. The demand Avould sometimes 
exceed the supply, so the amount dealt out to each would be 
diminished until ten or fifteen pounds would be the most he would 
sell to any one family. "When the meal Avas all distributed and 
there were yet families not supplied, a raid would be made on 
the sacks that were filled and the contents distributed among 
tliose that had no flour or meal to eat. In, one instance a Nor- 
wegian woman, having a large family, came before noon and 
stayed until 9 o'clock trying to buy more than fifty pounds of 
meal, but when she saw the last of the meal carried away by 
littles, she gave it up and Avent home. Mr. Brown's death oc- 
curred February 23. 1864; Mrs. Brown's, April 3, 1868. 

The second store in Austin was opened by J. B. Yates and 
V. P. Lewis. 

General Stores. In the winter of 1856-57 George B. Hayes 
started into mercantile business in a building located in the block 
east of the Windsor House. He afterward did business in the 
building known as "headquarters." He carried a large stock 
of general merchandise and was the leading merchant here for 
some time. Hanchett and Sprague opened a general store here 
in 1856. in a frame building north of the present iMcCuUough 
printing plant. They were in business two or three years 
George ^Jlitchell came here from Geneva, New York, in 1857, and 
•started the first furniture store. Albert Galloway and D. B. 
Johnson. Jr.. foi-med a partnership and opened a general store in 
July, 1857, in a building east of where the postofifice now stands. 
The next spring they dissolved, Galloway continiiing in the trade 
until 1868. He then sold to Olfson & Peterson, who ran two years 
and closed out. In the fall of 1858 Ruford Kimball erected a 
small frame building and embarked in the grocery and dry goods 
trade, and failed the coming season. In 1859 James Clock started, 
a general store. He operated the same about a year, when he 
failed. F. King opened a general store in 1863 and in 1878 
George M. Fish. Jr.. became a partner, under the firm name of 
King & Fish. Philips, Sawyer, Smith, Baird and others were in 
business here in the sixties. N. P. Austin opened a general store 
in 1865. 

Meat Dealers. The first meat business in Austin was done bv 


W. A. "Woodson, in 1856. He was living about two miles from 
town, where he dressed the beef. He brought the meat to town 
In a wagon and drove from house to house to supply his cus- 
tomers. Eyre & Rankin opened a market here in 1865. 

Drugs. The first drug store in Austin was started by Dr. 
Orlenzer Allen, in 1856. He closed out in war times. Dr. Brewer 
was the second druggist, closely followed by Dr. Barnes. Early 
in 1866 Woodard & Dorr opened a drug store. J. J. and G. G. 
Clemmer opened a little later the same year. 

Millinery. The first milliner in Austin was Mrs. Sarah H. 
Bemis, who settled here in 1855. She was in the business until 
after the war. 

Smithing-. The first blacksmith in Austin was Winfield Love- 
land, who is spoken of as coming late in 1854, or early in 1855. 
In 1857 he moved away. During that time Abe Haveling and a 
man named Day worked at the trade here for a short time. 
Other early black.smiths were Samuel Rice and Llewellyn and 

Tailoring. In 1861 Henry Jacobs, a merchant tailor by trade, 
opened a shop here and put in a stock of ready-made clothing. 
He is .still in business here. Mr. Jacobs has been in business 
longer than any other man in Austin. 

Boots and Shoes. George and Oliver Bemis put in the first 
stock of boots and shoes in the spring of 1857. 

Livery. The first livery stables in Austin were started in 
1864. In that year there were two stables opened : one by A. B. 
Davidson and William Brown, the other by E. D. and Calos Fen- 
ton. In 1868 W. T. Mandeville succeeded to the business started 
by Davidson & Brown. Leonard Gillett, Joshua Davidson, Hicks 
& Phelps, Cobb & Son, M. C. Gratton engaged in the livery busi- 
ness here in an early day. 

Jewelry. Gustav Schleuder has been in the jewelry business 
in Austin since 1863, and next to Henry Jacobs has been in busi- 
ness longer than any other man in Austin. 

Hardware. Charles C. Hunt opened a hardware store in 
Austin in the sixties. 

Express Companies. The first express business done at Austin 
was that operated by Nichols & Cotter, who ran the stage line from 
.Rochester, also from AVaverly, la., northwest into Minnesota. 
The United States Express Company establi.shed a regular otfice 
at this point and Harlan W. Page was appointed the first agent. 
A little later the American J]xpress Company established an office 
also, and made Mr. Page joint agent. This was the first joint 
office of these two companies in Minnesota. 

Mr. Page Avas succeeded by Phelps and Hathaway, wlio lield 
the offices till tliey divided, each having a separate office. C. J. 


Paddock was the first agent for the United States Company after 
they divided, and James Hutchins for the American Company. 
Abont 1870 AV. T. Wilkins became agent for the United States 
Company and he in 1872 was succeeded by L. M. Ober. L. R. 
Hathaway was finally succeeded in 1875 by L. E. Day, who con- 
tinued till 1884, when J. E. Crews took the office. 


A directory of Austin, published in June, 1867, gives the fol- 
lowing names of those engaged in business and in the professiolis 
here at that time. Attorneys : Ormanzo Allen, Cameron & John- 
son, Everest & Wright, Page & Wheeler, Shortt & Jones. Auc- 
tioneer: LeRoy Hathaway. Band: Austin Cornet Band, R. L. 
Kimball, leader. Agricultural implements : E. D. Fenton, 
Wi'ight and Azure. Architects and builders : Andrews Brothers, 
C. Chapin, George Baird, D. Bosworth, Campbell & Dodge, W. C. 
Cassell. Oscar Eyres, C. Ford, George Johnson, L. W. Smith, 
Thomas Tremple, William Tucker, James Williams. Banker: 
Harlan W. Page. Billiard hall: William Simpson. Bakery: 
Stephen Rice. Blacksmiths: Hunt & Clark. Allan Mollison, L. 
Piper, Hiram Smith. Boots, shoes, etc. : J. C. Ackley & Co., 
J. B. Revord. Barber : W. H. Bullock. Brick makers : Morse 
& Tuttle, Webb Brothers. Churches: Baptist, PI. I. Parker; 
Congregational, Alfred Morse ; Episcopal, L. W. Gibson ; Metho- 
dist. W. Carver; Presbyterian, H. A. Mayhew; Roman Catholic, 
Father McDermott. County officers: H. M. Allen, auditor; Syl- 
A-ester Smith, treasurer ; Soloman Snow, register of deeds ; D. J. 
Tubbs, sheriff; E. 0. Wheeler, attorney; Ormanzo Allen, probate 
judge: L. A. Sherwood, clerk of district court; Sherman Page, 
superintendent of schools. Clothing and cloths: J. C. Ackley 
& Co., R. Buckelmann, A. J. Phelps. Dentists : Dr. E. C. Dorr, 
Dr. E. P. Hudson. Dry goods and groceries: X. P. Austin, 
George B. Hayes, Johnson & Brother, F. King, Olson & Cnutson, 
Paddock Brothers, Soule Brothers. Drugs and medicines: J. J. 
and G. G. Clemmer, Johnson Brothers & Co., Woodard & Dorr. 
Express companies: American, Harlan W. Page; United States, 
same. ^Merchants' Union: Charles W. Sawyer. Fanning mills 
and washing machines: William Truesdell. Furniture: Hop- 
kins & Fernald. William Ludwig. Flour and feed : AV right & 
Azure. Good Templars : Austin Lodge, No. 14, I. O. G. T. Gro- 
ceries : J. C. Ackley & Co., J. F. Atherton, Cook Bros, A. Matson, 
Wright & Azure. Hotels: Davidson's Hotel. Fleck House, 
Farmers' Home. Hardware, stoves, etc.: Austin & Sniout, J. F. 
Atherton. Kimball & Hunt, V. P. Lewis. Harness and saddlery: 
Hathaway & Kaiser, Frank Raymond. Insurance agents : LeRoy 


Hathaway, Page & Wheeler, Harlan AY. Page, C. AY. Sawyer, R. I. 
Smith, Soloman Snow. Ice dealer : B. F. Jones. Jew6lry, etc. : 
Gustav Schleuder. Job printing : Register office. Lumber deal- 
ers : Crooker & Brother & Lamoreux, Clay & Leach, A. Matson. 
Livery stables : A. B. Davidson, E. D. Fenton & Brother. Ma- 
sonic : Fidelity Lodge, No. 39, A. F. & A. M. ; Austin Chapter, 
IT. D. Millinery and dressmaking : Cook & Bemis, Mrs. S. Hed- 
ding, Mrs. D. A. Lord, Miss M. A. Sample, Mrs. Q. A. Truesdell. 
Merchant tailors : D. Banks, R. Dunkelmann, A. Matson. Meat 
market: Eyre & Frederick. Newspaper: Mower County Reg- 
ister. Physicians and surgeons : Dr. Orlenzer Allen, Dr. R. A. 
Barnes, Dr. P. C. Berry, Dr. 0. AY. Gibson, Dr. W. C. Jones. 
Photograph gallery : R. I. Smith. Painters : AVeseman & 
Hickok. Plasterers: R. J. Tyler, AYilliam Vandergrift. Res- 
taurants : Huxhold & Yan Campen. Sewing machine agents : 
J. C. Ackley, Mrs. Orlenzer Allen, C. H. Davidson. Stone and 
brick masons : Patrick Barrett, AYilliam Gutherless. U. S. offi- 
cers : Deputy collector, Sol. Snow ; deputy assessor, H. M. Allen. 
A'^eterinary surgeon : Dr. M. M. AYalker. AA^agon shops : AY. I. 
Brown, Holt & jMaloney. 


Prior to the advent of the railroad to Austin the business of 
the place was not classified, but general stocks prevailed. But 
at this time a revolution took place which really marked a new 
era in the commercial history of Austin. The history of a ma- 
jority of the business houses which operated previous to the 
coming of the railroad has already been given. In this connec- 
tion will be given the general development of the various branches 
of trade from 1867, when the railroad was completed, up to 1884, 
when the modern period begins. 

Mercantile. Soon after the coming of the railroad N. P. Aus- 
tin sold an interest in his general store to F. A. Richardson and 
later sold his remaining interest to Frank Mayhew and went to 
California. After a few years Mayhew sold his interest to Rich- 
ardson and followed Austin to California. Richardson continued 
in the business until 1880, when his stock was destroyed by fire. 
James C. Day started in the dry goods business early in this era. 
After about one year he sold to Stoaley & AYilliams. Their busi- 
ness was managed by AY. H. Merrick two years, when they closed 
out. The C. L. AYest Dry Goods Company. In the spring of 
1869 C. L. AYest left Osage, la., where he had been employed 
as a clerk in the general stores of II. AY. ]\IcNabb and Fonda and 
Redfearn for three years past, and engaged as a clerk in the drug 
store of Johnson Bros, for about three months, after which he 

iiisTOijY OF :\i()\vi<:i,' coiwi'v ^o:. 

was employod iu the general store of Austin & Richardson for 
about three years. In the fall of 1871 he decided to go into busi- 
ness for himself. He first thought of going into the grocery busi- 
ness in some small town, but on counting the cost of a small 
grocery stock he decided that the small amount of money he had 
was not enough. He finally decided that the biggest show for 
the least money was in the crockery business. He went around 
town and persuaded the dealers to sell their stocks of crockery to 
him and agree to keep out of the business. He conducted this 
business until June, 1873, when R. 0. Hall moved from Dixon, 
111., to Austin, when they went into partnership under the firm 
name of Hall & West, and opened a general store. After two 
years the grocery department was discontinued and an exclusive 
dry goods business continued until June, 1899, when Mr. Hall 
retired, since which time the business has been continued by ]Mr. 
"West up to the date of this writing, making a continuous period 
of forty years that Mr. West has been in business in Austin. No 
sensational or radical methods have been employed, only such 
methods as have appealed to an old merchant as progressive and 
honest have been the governing policy of this store. L. S. Wil- 
lard established a dry goods business in Austin in 1876. Christian 
tian Johnson engaged in the mercantile trade in Austin a few 
years after the railroad was built with his brother Jacob, who 
died a fev/ months later. After eight years Mr. Johnson sold out 
and engaged as a clerk. 

Groceries. Among the grocery dealers at the commencement 
of this era was L. G. Basford, who continued in the business until 
the falling of the Basford block in 1883. James C. Day, after 
selling his stock of dry goods, opened an extensive grocery store, 
from which he drove the first delivery wagon in town. He was 
succeeded by S. W. Day. Dalager Bros, engaged in the grocery 
business in 1880, one of the brothers, Edward, having been in the 
same line since 1872, while the other brother, Andrew, had been 
engaged in the sale of farm machinery since 1878. Edward A. 
Dalager is still engaged in the grocery business in Austin. Fred 
Radermaeher opened a grocery store in Austin in 1869, and in 
1876 engaged in the bakery and restaurant business. 

Fiirniture. The furniture trade of Austin was represented in 
1867 liy George Mitchell, Hopkins & Fernald. Mitchell continued 
in the trade until his death. Hopkins & Fernald continued the 
business until 1875, when Hopkins sold and moved to Boston, 
^Mass. Fernald was joined in business by A. W. Kimball. They 
continued in business until their stock was destroyed by fire. 
Fernald started in business soon after. S. C. Olson, who at first 
worked in Fernald 's store, commenced l)usiiiess for liimsi'lf. lie 
was in trade in 1884. 


Drug Trade. The drug business at the commencement of this 
era was represented by Woodard & Dorr, and J. J. & 6. G. Clem- 
mer. The firm of Woodard & Dorr was soon changed to Door & 
Wold. K. 0. AVold is still in business here. The Clemmer Bros, 
were in business but a few years when G. G. withdrew from the 
firm and went to Hampton, la. J. J. was never a resident of 
Austin. Soon after G. G. withdrew the firm became Clemmer & 
Pooler. Charles A. Pooler is still in business here. 

Lumber. The business was first represented in Austin by Mr. 
Washburn, in 1866, and he remained in the business two years. 
The same year a yard was started by P. G. Lamoreaux on Main 
street. William Leach opened a yard in the fall of the same 
year on Mill street, east of the yard established by Washburn. 
JMr. Leach continued in business about one year. The lumber 
trade in Austin in 1867, after the completion of the railroad, was 
an immense business. From this point, all the territory between 
Albert Lea and ]\Iason City had to obtain lumber from Austin. 
The lumber manufacturers of Minneapolis had yards of their own 
for several years and did an extensive business. In 1868 there 
were six yards in the city. Among the dealers who continued in 
the trade after the boom had ceased was William Richards, whose 
yard was at the depot. He sold to E. H. Gerard and he to S. B. 
Woodsum. Bray & French were also early dealers in lumber. 
Frank I. Crane succeeded Bray & French in 1876. William M. 
Leach came to Austin in 1866, engaged in the lumber trade, and 
later took charge of the lumber yards of Frank I. Crane. The 
Crane yard is still in existence and is in charge of Ralph P. 

Grain Business. The first to engage in the grain business at 
Austin in the railroad era Avere B. J. and E. P. Van Valkenburgh, 
who located a warehouse soon after the railroad came in. Among 
the other earl.y dealers were Ames & Co., William W. Cargill, John 
Crandall and Yates & Lewis. The railroad company built a low, 
flat v/arehouse shortly after the road was built in and about the 
same time the firm of B. J. and E. P. Van Valkenburgh dissolved. 
Bassett & Iluntting built an elevator about 1875, which had a 
capacity of 60,000 bushels, and B. J. Van Valkenburgh managed 
it, having an interest in the same. In 1868 Yates & LcAvis built 
a warehouse and handled grain a few years. In 1884 the grain 
l)usiness was in tlie hands of Bassett & Hunting and Charles 

Leather Goods. The first harness made in Austin was by 
LoRoy Hatliaway, in I860. Mr. Hathaway was at that time at 
work for George B. Hayes, Avho started the first harness shop. In 
the spring of 1865 Hathaway engaged in business for himself, and 
in Octobci- of that year ~S\v. Kaiser l)ecame his partner in business. 


This partnership eoutinued about one year. Mr. Kaiser was then 
alone in business until July 25, 1868, when Mr. Guiney became 
associated with him. 

Boots and Shoes. Joseph Schwan is the oldest established boot 
and shoe dealer now in business in Austin. He began business 
October 23, 1867. He began on a small scale in a small frame 
building only ten feet in width, kept a small stock of ready-made 
goods and also did custom work. Mr. Schwan is still successfully 
engaged in business. In December, 1867, James Truesdell, of 
Syracuse, N. Y., started an exclusive boot and shoe store. In 
1869 he moved to Ira Jones' building, where he remained two 
years, and from there moved to the east side of Main street, into 
a building which he bought. In 1880 Mr. Truesdell sold his stock 
to Frank Tieknor. J. C. Ackley purchased the boot and shoe 
stock which George B. Hayes carried in connection with his gen- 
eral store and operated until 1873, and then sold to J. P. Revord. 
In two or three years he sold to John Lambert, continued a few 
years and moved to southern Iowa. Samuel Sweningsen and 
Charles I. Johnson embarked in the boot and shoe business in 
1880 and were among the dealers in 1884. Charles I. Johnson is 
still engaged in the footwear business in Austin. Amos H. Hill 
came to Austin in February, 1876, and for a time was in partner- 
ship with John Lambert in the general grocery and boot and shoe 

Clothing. The clothing business has always l^een well repre- 
sented in Austin. Henry Jacobs, the pioneer dealer, was still in 
trade in 1884. R. Dunkleman established business here late in 
1866, and Joseph Levy early in 1867. Dettleburgh Brothers, 
better known as Cheap Charley, established their business here 
about 1878. 

Photographers. Dr. Brewer was the first photographer to 
locate at Austin. He was assisted by A. B. Davidson, who suc- 
ceeded him in the business. In 1884 Orville Slocum and G. S. 
Hildahl were each engaged in the business. 

Hardware Business. Charles C. Hunt, who is spoken of as 
being in the hardware business previous to the railroad era, con- 
tinued in trade until 1870, when he sold to Ira Jones, who was in 
trade the greater part of the time until 1883, when he was suc- 
ceeded by Cook & Davidson. J. H. Patterson, general hardware 
dealer purchased a building of J. B. Reeurd in 1883. The busi- 
ness of Mr. Patterson was established by Crane & Patterson in 
1880. The latter purchased his partner's interest in February. 
1882. H. O. Jahren and H. S. Hammond engaged in the sale of 
farm machinery in the firm name of Jahren & Hammond in 1884, 
purchasing the business established by Goodwin & Jalircn in 1S74. 
A. O. Jahren, a lirother of H. ()., suecedcd to tlic Imsiufss t'ol- 



lowed by H. O. W. H. Sutton engaged in the general hardware 
business in Austin in November, 1883, under the firm name of Fish 
& Sutton. Mr. Si;tton became sole owner in May, 1884. In 
August, 1883, he sold his hardware stock to J. F. Andrews & Son. 
D. B. Smith started dealing in general farm machinery in Aiistin 
in the fall of 1871. Austin Foundry was established near the 
Milwaukee depot in 1867 by William W. Brownson, who continued 
the business successfully until his death in 1873. In the agricul- 
tural implement business there have been numerous dealers. 
William Allen, about the first regular dealer, after railroad times, 
operated about five years and then closed out and removed to 
Wells, Minn. Next came Alanson Wright, Avho did quite an 
extensive business in this line. Next came E. P. Van Valken- 
burgh, who was succeeded by Oscar Ayers, who was in business 
for a few years. 


In 1876, Centennial year, the business and professional prog- 
ress of Austin was represented as follows : 

Main street — Austin & Chase, hardware ; Noble & McWhorter, 
grocers; Oleson, Smith & Co., dry goods; C. H. Brewster, mer- 
chant tailor; J. J. Hayes & Bro., jewelers; George Baird & Son, 
stationers ; L. L. Gable, organs ; Miss W. C. Soper, milliner ; 
Charles Rommel, meat market ; Hall & West, dry goods and gro- 
ceries; Fernald & Kimball, furniture; Clemmer & Pooler, drug- 
gists; C. B. Staples, dentist; J. A. Dunston, barber; Robert Grif- 
fith, groceries and stationery ; Mrs. E. M. Benson, milliner ; John 
B. Revord, groceries and boots and shoes; Bullock & Pierce, bar- 
bers ; AVitham & Robinson, painters ; James Cronou, cigars, to- 
bacco and notions ; George Foote, confectionery ; W. H. Anderson, 
baker and grocer; Joseph Levy, clothing; M. M. Brey, tobacco 
and cigars ; F. King, dry goods ; Dorr & Wold, druggists ; G. 
Schleuder, jeweler; M. T. Grattan, reaper agent; E. Dunkle- 
mann, clothing ; Solner & Morgan, general store ; Davidson & Bas- 
f ord, publishers Register ; Rabe & Avery, dentists ; T. W. Wood- 
ard, justice of the peace; Merrick & Knox, hardware; H. A. 
Fairbanks, harness maker ; L. Piper, blacksmith ; Smith, Wilkins 
& Easton, Mower County Bank ; L. M. Ober, express agent and 
deputy revenue officer; J. A. Waters, sewing machines; P. Zeller, 
proprietor European hotel ; Dr. W. L. Hollister, pliysician and 
surgeon; Dr. S. P. Thornhill, physician and surgeon; First Na- 
tional Bank, O. W. Shaw president, II. AV. Page cashier; E. 0. 
Wheeler, lawyer and real estate agent; E. Mapes, groceries; 
H. F. Kunz, dry goods; Joseph Schwan, boots and shoes; H. 
Luithlen, confectionery and restaurant; D. B. Jolinson, Jr., at- 


torney at law ; Crandall & French, lawyers ; L. W. Griffith, justice 
of the peace ; H. H. Harwood, proprietor of the Transcript ; 
George B. Hayes, loan hroker; Kaiser & Guinney, harness makers; 
Frank Raymond, harness maker; Padden & Noble, druggists; 
James Truesdell, boots and shoes; Tallmadge & Ball, grocers; 
F. A. Richardson, dry goods ; Greenman & Abbey, insurance 
agents and lawyers; George E. "Wilbour & Son, merchant tailors 
and clothiers; Engle & Co., miller's office; L. Ed. Day, express 
agent; Hazlewood & Tuttle, hardware; H. M. & S. Cowing, milli- 
ners ; Col. J. H. Mansfield, proprietor DaA'idson House ; L. Hturte- 
vant, musical instruments. 

Mill street — John Walsh, grocer; William Newman, shoe- 
maker; Frank Gibbons, confectionery; J. J. O'Maley, wines and 
liquors; S. Chandler & Bro., grocers; Adrian Drost, silversmith; 
H. L. Burgess, gunsmith ; A. 0. Jahren & Co., farm machinery ; 
Leo Anderson, bakery : C. 0. Berg, tailor ; Sever Oleson, pro- 
prietor Scandinavian House ; A. Nelson, liquors ; H. J. Minar, 
marble yard; S. Hutchins, proprietor Ramsey stage line; Henry 
Kothe, proprietor Austin House ; J. S. Corning, proprietor Grand 
Central Hotel ; D. Heffner, billiard hall ; Frank Anderson, liquor 
dealer; M. J. Cuddy, liquor dealer; Katz & Driesner, wholesale 
liquor dealers; 0. E. Slocum, photographer; T. F. Armstrong, 
liquors ; John McCormick, liquors ; Kyle & Feihn, meat market ; 
Henry Jacobs, tailor; Mrs. D. A. Lord, millinery; P. Zender, 
liquors; A. M. Radermacher, grocer; H. S. Smith, plow manu- 
facturer; Dr. J. N. Wheat, physician and surgeon. 

Bridge street — L. G. Basford, grocer ; G. K. Hanson, wagon 
maker; W. A. Hotehkiss, proprietor Republican ; Dr. J. P. Squires, 
physician and surgeon ; A. H. Alsip, brick maker ; Joseph Rliein- 
smith, blacksmith: AY. I. Brown, farm machinery; H. S. Smith, 
blacksmith ; J. Cota, shoemaker ; Ole Sorenson, shoemaker ; A. E. 
]\Ieigs, postmaster; S. AY. Day, notions; Frederich & Gies, meat 
market: James Geraghty, liquors; Cameron & Crane, lawyers and 
land agents ; Anderson & Royce, coal dealers ; H. G. AA^achlin, 
liquors; James Bates, wagon shop; J. A. Donaldson, wood and 
iron worker; AL Feeny, boarding and liquors; John O'Brien, pro- 
prietor American House: A. AI. Delaire, blacksmith; T. Dugan. 
blacksmith ; Oleson & Nieholaison, furniture. 

Around Public square — D. B. Smith; J. AYeisel, iniiicral wjitoi-: 
Fleck & Hay, proprietors Fleck House; T. Hillam. billiard hall; 
Carlos Fenton, livery; W. Patterson, blacksmith; Thomas Ed- 
-vards, photographer; E. P. A^'an A^'alkonburgh, farm machinery; 
George C. Alartin, hardware. 

Aliscellaneous— Dr. O. AY. Gibson, ])liysiciaii and surgeon: 
P. O. French, pump manufacturer and agent For farm luachiuer;. : 
Grattan & Cox, livery; Brey & French, hiiiilxr: AV. T. Afaiidc- 


ville livery; J. F. Atherton. proprietor railroad eating house; 
AVilliara Richards, lumber; J. Fischer, proprietor Burlington 
House ; C. W. Ransom, grain buyer ; J. M. Flowers, grain dealer ; 
George B. Wright, foundry; A. W. Powers, manufacturer of 
fanning mills ; V. Richard, manufacturer of fanning mills ; Thos, 
Meaney, liquors : Michael Collins, liquors ; W. H. Valleau, grain 
buyer: J. H. C. Huxhold, brewer; Frank Livingstine, brewer; 
J. S. Putnam, justice of the peace; C. N. Beiseker, cooper; Peter 
Parker, painter ; W. H. Officer, miller ; Jonathan Gregson, miller ; 
Mathew Gregson, miller; Warner, Crane & Co., millers; J. Mc- 
Grath, station agent; William Olesou, painter; D. Banks, tailor; 
Peter McCormick, proprietor Farmers' Home. 


The commercial interests of Austin in August, 1884, were 
represented as follows : Dry goods : Hall & West, J. Solner & 
Co., L. S. Willard and F. King. Groceries : C. W. Taylor & Co., 
Dalager Bros., F. P. McBride, A. H. Hill & Co. Boots and shoes : 
J. Schwan, Sweningsen & Johnson and F. A. Ticknor. Clothing : 
R. Dunkleman, Dettelbach Bros., ("Cheap Charley") J. Levy 
and F. E. Jacobs. Hardware : Cook & Davidson, J. H. Patterson, 
J. 'R Andrews & Son. Drugs: Dorr & AVold and Clemmer & 
Pooler. Agricultural machinery: D. B. Smith, Oscar Ayei'S, 
Keenan Bros., Jahren & Hammond. Restaurants: G. F. Rode- 
macher. R. P. Boyles. Harness shops: Kaiser & Guiney and 
Frank Rayman. News depot: James Cronan. Jewelers: G. 
Schleuder and Hayes Bros. Hotels : Fleck House, kept by A. M. 
Fleck ; Mansfield House, kept by J. H. Mansfield ; Windsor House, 
kept by John E. Robinson ; Davidson House, kept by S. F. Gib- 
bons; Railroad House, kept by Bannard & Horrabin; American 
House, kept by Andrew Noonan ; Burlington House, kept by J. 
Fischer; German House. Lumber yards: F. I. Crane and S. B. 
Woodsum. Grain buyers: Bassett & Hunting (per H. A. Fair- 
banks) and C. H. Whitton. 

The folloAving named were ones wlio at one time had carried 
on business in Austin, but who, as early as 1884, had gone out of 
business : Groceries : Noble & McWharter, Paddock Bros., S. W. 
Day, Sprague & Co., Paden & Simmons. . Drugs : Noble & French. 
Hardware: Austin & Smith, C. L. Chase. Dry goods: Fleetwood 
& Merril, J. C. Smith & Co., Walker & Lidgerwood, Knud Knud- 
son. Agricultural implements: W. J. Brown, E. J. Gratton, 
Nelson Bros., II. H. Kent, G. H. Azure. Boots and shoes : Jehial 

Of those in business here in 1884, Ihe following are still act- 
ively engaged in iiicrcantile pursuits in 1911 : Chas. L. West, dry 


goods, cloaks and suits; Edward A. Dalager, groceries; Frank 
P. McBride, groceries; Charles I. Johnson, footwear; Joseph 
Schwan (J. Schwan & Son), footwear; Gustav Schleuder, jew- 
elry; Knud 0. AVold, drugs; Charles A. Pooler, drugs; Frank 
Raymond, harnesses, and Hayes Bros. (J. J. and Orris), jewelry. 
Ralph Crane conducts the lumber business of his father, Frank I. 


In 1885 began the modern mercantile period of Austin. The 
companies that have started in business, lived for a time and 
then sold out, have but little historical importance. There are at the 
present time a number of business houses which have been estab- 
lished for mgny years and which by reason of their stability and 
standing are worthy of their names being handed down to future 
generations as representatives of the mercantile interests of 
Austin at the present time. Among these may be mentioned: 
George Hirsh, clothing (see biographical sketch) ; Philip H. 
Friend, clothing (see biographical sketch) ; Hormel Provision 
House, food products (see sketch of George A. Hormel) ; John 
A. Maurek, general store ; Ernest Myers, tobacco business ; 
Holmes Hardware Company ; Donovan & Goslee, furniture ; Aus- 
tin Furniture Company' ; Decker Bros., hardware (see biograph- 
ical sketch); G. Fred Baird, undertaker; Urbatch Bros., hard- 
ware; Frank O. Hall, groceries; Lars P. Nelson, harness maker;* 
John Briebach, meats ; Fred E. Gleason, jeweler, established in 
1890 ; Joseph Fitzhum, harness maker ; M. J. Keenan, musical 
instruments ; John F. Fairbanks, fuel ; Fiester & Thomas, general 
store; J. S. R. Seoville. jeweler; Mathias S. Fisch, department 
store (see biographical sketch) ; Frank M. Zender, cigars; W. C. 
Horrooin, groceries ; Paul H. Zender, bakery ; Dunfee Bros., 
cigars ; Fred L. Williams, cigars ; Austin Cigar Company ; Robert 
R. ]\Iurphy, dry goods; William D. Bassler, clothing; Albert 
Thon, dry goods ; Ormanzo J. Benton, footwear ; John E. Malloy, 
drugs; William R. Earl, furniture; Guy H. Burlingame, notions; 
Austin Candy Company ; OAvatonna Fruit Company ; Austin 
Plumbing Company, Clefton Pluming Company. 




First Mill — Former Industries — Present Interests — Story of the 
Growth and Development of the Various Plants Which Have 
Assisted in the Progress of the City — Minor Activities. 

"While not primarily a manufacturing town, Austin neverthe- 
less has a number of important factories, and the packing, rail- 
road, printing, milling, clay products, cement, farm implement, 
Tagon making, creamery, bottling, corrugated iron, bookbinding, 
rugmaldng, gunmaking, farm machinery, bakery, post card, 
greenhouse, nursery, building and illuminating industries are 

Naturally the milling industry was the first to occupy the 
attention of the people of this vicinity. 


The first mill and factory in Austin is the subject of an article 
prepared many years ago by Q. A. Truesdell. "The first mill 
in Austin was of a primitive kind, made and used by the Indians. 
' It Avas located on the west side of the Cedar river, about twenty 
rods above Engle's (now Campbell's) dam. A white oak stump 
v.'as hollowed out in the top in the shape of a mortar, and with 
a wooden pestle the corn was pounded fine, mixed up with 
Avater and baked in the hot coals. Some of the corn was begged 
from the inhabitants and some stolen. In the month of Novem- 
ber, 1858, the Truesdell brothers started up the first water mill. 
The; mill was made of iron, and ran night and day part of the 
time. It Avas valuable at the time for grinding corn, there being 
no other mill nearer than a distance of thirty miles. Mr. Rose, 
of Rose Creek, brought the first sack of Avlieat and had it ground 
into flour, and when we met afterwards he told me the bread 
made from the flour \\^as very black and not fit to eat. Most 
of the pioneers well remember what was called the "Water 
Johnny Cake Period," when there was little else than corn meal 
for bread, and not enough of that. Aloysius Brown Avas in trade 
at that time and did a large business in furnishing flour to the 
settlers. He had teams draAving flour from Chatfield and Deco- 
rah, loAva; but this whole country Avas Avet and soft that but 
small loads could be brought in and it took a long time to make 
a trip. Our supplies Avere chiefly draAvn from Winona. They 
could not be procured to keep up Avith the demand, and such 


was Mr. Brown's imijartiality that he caused tlio sacks to be 
distributed in such a manner that every family should receive 
each a sack before any supplied were allowed to purchase the 
second. The settlers who came in years later knew but little 
what privations the first ones endured. The first steam mill was 
built by J. Bourgard and Asa jMarsh, on the east side of town, 
and after a while it was fitted up with buhrs for grinding, and it 
was operated by Mr. Bourgard. In the fall of 1856, Q. A. and 
W. Truesdell put machinery in a building where "Warner's mill 
(on Dobbin's creek) now (1876) stands, and for a long time 
manufactured furniture, but after a time the dam went out and 
the premises were abandoned. ' ' 


In the seventies and eighties, Austin had four important in- 
dustrial plants, the Engle mill, now Campbell's; the "Warner mill, 
now the lower Campbell mill; the plow manufactory of Johnson- 
& Smith, which is still in operation, and the Austin Canning 
Company, now out of existence. Quarrying, lime burning and 
brickmaking were also important in those days. The brick manu- 
factured here has entered into the construction of many im- 
portant buildings in the Northwest, including the postoffice at 
LaCrosse. The stone quarried here, however, has shown an 
inclination to crumble and is not Avell suited for building pur- 

The Austin Pressed Brick Company was started in 1887, and 
for a time was very successful. Tlie plant was burned and never 

The Engle Mill was owned by Joe Engle & Sons, who oper- 
ated a fine corrugated roller mill erected in 1881. These gen- 
tlemen came to Austin in 1871 and purchased Anderson's mill. 
The mill at that time was a small aflt'air, containing but one run of 
stone, and was built by Mr. Anderson in 1864. Immediately 
after their purchase the firm began reconstructing the property, 
and practically rebuilt the mill, enlarging the building and 
adding two sets of Imhrs, which, with other improvements, added 
to the first cost of the property, amounted to $30,000. They 
operated this mill until February, 1881, when it was destroyed 
by fire. They began immediately to rebuild, but on a much 
more elaborate plan. The site of this mill, just east of "Water 
f;treet bridge, is now occupied by A. S. Camp])ell 

The Austin Canning Factory. — The idea of establishing a 
canning factory al Austin was conceived by C. H. Davidson, the 
propiietor of the Austin Transcript. Ilis attention was called 
lo the matter by a gentleman who had a factory of this nature 


at Gilman, Iowa. Mr. Davidson agitated the matter by talking 
up the project with some of the leading business men of Austin 
and G. Schleuder, Eev. A. Morse, John Walsh and others were 
awakened to the fact that it would be an important enterprise 
among Austin's industrial interests. This Avas in the fall of 
1882. The company began canning September 4, 1883, arrange- 
ments having been made with the farmers in the vicinity for the 
raising of sweet corn. The factory had been in operation but 
three days when the boiler of the engine exploded, instantly kill- 
ing the engineer, Fred G. Knox. This sad occurrence ended the 
work of the factory for 1883. The company was organized 
]\Iarch 28, 1883. The first board of directors was composed of 
the following named gentlemen: John "Walsh, C. H. Davidson, 
H. W. Page, G. Schleuder, W. H. Sutton, D. J. Ames and AV. T. 
Wilkins. John Walsh was elected president and C. H. Davidson 
secretary. The company prospered for a time, but is now out of 
existence. The buildings were located on the south side of Bridge 
street, just east of the river. A. B. Hunkins also conducted a 
canning concern here in 1896 and 1897. 

The Austin Plow and Harrow Works is the oldest of Austin's 
industries, putting out ploAvs and harroAvs of exceptional Avear- 
ing qualities. The company Avas formerly knoAvn as the Smith & 
Johnson Company and its name is a familiar one to all agricul- 
tural implement dealers and farmers of the NorthAvest. The 
^^ Everlasting steel harrOAV, made in the Austin PIoav and HarroAV 
Works, is shipped to all agricultural states. It is a hand-made 
product and the best of material enters into its construction. 
The company Avas established in 1867 by Seymour Johnson and 
R. 0. Hunt. In 1870, L. S. IMitchell entered the firm in place of 
Islr. Hunt, and in 1872, H. S. Smith replaced Mr. Mitchell. jMr. 
Smith died in 1893, and in 1900, ]\Ir. Johnson sold out to the 
Smith heirs. 


George A. Hormel & Co., pork packers and provision dealers, 
operate Austin "s largest industry ; and Avith the railroads this 
company constitutes the eliief source of revenue of Austin's 
laboring population. It has also been an impoi'tant factor in 
deA'eloping the dairy and swine interests of the surrounding 
country districts. Dui'ing the past year tlie sales of this com- 
pany have amounted to over $4,000,000. The total tonnage of 
this year's business Avas 59,179,521 pounds, an increase of some 
4,000,000 over the previous year. Tlie product is marketed in 
Jill parts of the United States and in England, AA'hen conditions 
ill tliat market are favorable. 



In 1887, a young man, George A. Hormel, who had previously 
had considerable experience in the provision and packing trade, 
selected the prairies of southern Minnesota as the field of his 
future operations; and, as a beginning of greater work which 
he hoped l^ater to accomplish, came to Austin, and with Albert 
L. Friedrich engaged in the retail meat business under the firm 
name of Friedrich & Hormel. October 1, 1891, this partnership 
was dissolved and in Janiaary, 1892, IMr. ITormel started in the 
retail meat business, this being the beginning of the present 
institution of George A. Hormel & Co. In November, 1901, the 
company incorporated with a capital stock of $50,000, equally 
divided between preferred and common, the organizers being 
George A. Hormel, Herman G. Hormel, A. L. Eberhart, John G. 
Hormel and B. F. Hormel. These gentlemen are still identified 
with the company, and being particularly well fitted for their 
positions they have labored together for what has become the 
Hormel "idea" and "ideal." Realizing that the superior quality 
of the Hormel product is responsible for the growth of the busi- 
ness, the men Avho have been active in its development have had 
an unusual incentive to maintain its high standard. In their 
personal supervision of the various departments, this is their 
constant aim. The first officers were as at present: President, 
George A. Hormel ; vice president, Hennan G. Hormel ; secretary, 
A. L. Eberhart; treasurer, John G. Hormel; director, B. P, 

The packing business of the concern was inaugurated on the 
present site of the plant, in a small frame building, in 1892. 
During that year €lO hogs were slaughtered. From this begin- 
ning the plant has increased until it now has a capacity of 2,000 
hogs daily. Buildings have been erected and extensive altera- 
tions made every year as the business has increased. At the 
present time the plant has 224.000 square feet of floor space, and 
from 300 to 550 men are employed, according to the season of 
the year. April 13, 1906, the capital stock was increased to 
$1,000,000. and May 1, 1909, to $1,150,000. Aside from the pack- 
ing plant the company conducts a model provision market, which 
is one of the most modern and sanitary in southern ^Minnesota. 

Ever since the beginning, it has been the aim of the company 
to reacli out for the fancy meat trade, which is supplied with 
Dairy Brand hams, bacon and lard, which for quality and fine 
flavor have no equal. The hams and bacon are cured by a special 
Tirocess discovered by ^Ir. Hormel after a quarter of a century 
of experimenting. The brand "Dairy" is placed upon the highest 
grade of meats only. The pig from which this brand of meats is 
made is found only in the dairy districts of southern ^Minnesota. 
This pig is fed on skim milk from the creameries and upon corn. 


This kind of food produces a rich lean ham and bacon. In estab- 
lishing the plant in Austin the purpose was to be at the center of 
the dairy districts, where hogs, fattened under ideal conditions 
of climate, pasturage, pure air and sparkling spring water, might 
find a market at home, with none of their excellencies marred 
by long travel. Absolute cleanliness has been the idea and per- 
fection the ideal. In addition to the minute care exercised by the 
Hormel company, the government also maintains a corps of skilled 
veterinarians and inspectors at the plant. 

With Austin as headquarters, lirauc-hes are maintained at 
IMinneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth, and the business is constantly 

The Minnesota Farmers' Brick and Tile Company is one of 
Austin's newer industries, but already gives promise of becoming 
one of its most im_portant. The Indians who hunted through this 
county used clay from the vicinity of Austin for their rude pot- 
tery. Soon after the settlers came, the value of the clay deposit 
here was realized, and at various times efforts have been made 
to manufacture and market clay products. For various reasons 
none of these efforts except the latest one continued, although 
each successive effort demonstrated more thoroughly the excel- 
lence of the clay and shale found here. 

In the fall of 1909, a body of men determined to take advan- 
tage of this rich deposit by manufacturing tile and brick on an 
extensive scale. A company was therefore duly organized and 
incorporated and capitalized at $400,000, divided equally between 
common and preferred stock. The officers were: President, 
L. A. Smith; vice president, AY. PI. Gleason; treasurer, R. L. 
Johnson ; secretary, "W. H. Gleason, Jr. The directors were L. A. 
Smith, W. M. Colby, K. L. Johnson, W. H. Gleason, W. H. Glea- 
son, Jr., J. A. Sullivan and "W. M. Sweiger. 

The buildings were started December 16, 1909, and the first 
carload of finished product was shipped July 16, 1910. The daily 
oulput is now about ten carloads. The present officers are as at 
first. About one hundred men are employed. The company owns 
100 acres lying on the main line of the Chicago Great AVestern, 
and it is expected that quite a village will spring up around the 
plant. At the present time the site is occupied by an office 
building wliich demonstrates the beauty of the brick manufac- 
tured by the company, twelve kilns, a large brick dryroom four 
stories high, a millroom where the manufacturing is done, a boiler 
and engine house and an electric light and power plant, as well 
as the large clay pit. 

The process starts at the clay bed. This deposit of clay is 
fully described in the United States geological survey report, and 
is too lengthy for reproduction here. It is sufficient to say that 


i'or its own particular purpose this deposit has no superiors in 
the Northwest, its peculiarity being its conjunction Avith a fine 
quality of shale. The clays are varied in color, running through 
bright greens, blues, reds and yellows, with all their shades and 
tints. The quantity and quality of the deposits have been thor- 
oughly examined and tested, both chemically and structurally. 
It has been demonstrated that the material is practically pure and 
entirely free from any substance that can be detrimental to its 
use. The discovery of this deposit will be more fully appreciated 
Avhen its physical properties are fully understood. The bed of 
clay lies high above the railroad and has an absolutely perfect 
natural drainage. It is easily secured, as it is covered by an 
average drift of less than twelve inches, and in some spots no 
stripping at all is required. 

The material, which is soft and putty-like as it lies in its 
pocket, is excavated and placed in storage, where after a few 
days it becomes thoroughly seasoned. From this storage the clay 
is loaded into iron cars and is drawn by steel cables to the mixer, 
which is at the top of the building. From the hopper into which 
the material is dumped the clay goes into the granulator, where 
whatever is coarse is ground into powder. Never ceasing its 
motion from the time it leaves the pit, the clay, now graulated, 
moves in to the pug mill, is there dampened and then forced out 
through the die, in one continuous piece, of the shape and size 
desired. An automatic cutter cuts the product the desired 
length, and the pieces of brick or tile, as the case may be, are then 
loaded on cars and run through the drier. The product as soon as 
cured is taken to the kilns and burned with soft coal, after which 
it is loaded into railroad cars or piled in the yard and is ready for 
shipment. The principal product of the plant is biiilding mate- 
rial and drainage tile, though other departments of the clay- 
working industry are being investigated and experimented with. 

The product thus obtained is a much superior one. The tile 
is of a ware practicably indestructible. It is as hard as stone, 
it rings like a bell when struck, its glazed surface is as smootli 
as glass, it is waterproof and dustproof and impervious to acids 
and alkalies. Nothing sticks to it and nothing harms it. Frost 
and heat, wear and weather have no eflfect on it. It lasts prac- 
tically forever. The government has accepted the brick as meas- 
lu-ing fully up to government contract standard. 

Tlie company has done much and will do still more for the 
development of southern ]\linnesota. It furnishes (>in])lovment 
for a number of men, it is increasing the manufacturing im- 
portance of Austin, it affords an oppoi-tunity for safe investment, 
and it is becoming a campaign of education by which the farmers 


are coming to realize more and more the advantage of subsoil 

The Gilbert Improved Corrugated Company conducts one of 
the growing industries of Austin. The heavily galvanized steel 
culvert which this company manufactures is unlike that of any 
other make, by reason of a fastener used in joining the parts. 
This fastener is not a rivet, which leaves an unprotected line the 
entire length of the culvert which sooner or later rusts out, but a 
contrivance which is galvanized and lasts as long as the culvert. 
The company's i:)lant is located on the Chicago, IMilwaukee & St. 
Paul line, so that the product, which is shipped to all parts of the 
Northwest, can be loaded onto the cars at the firm's very doors. 
The machinery for making the culverts and the fasteners was 
invented and patented by the company. A branch is maintained 
at Aberdeen, S. D., and there, in addition to culverts, tanks and 
smokestacks are made. The concern was incorporated October 
20, 1908, with a capital stock of $25,000. The incorporators were 
Jens Larson, John Larson, W. E. LeBaron, C. E. Gilbert, A. O. 
Nelson, J. F. Austin, T. E. Wilson and L. A. Sherman. The first 
officers were : President, Jens Larson ; vice-president, W. E. 
LeBaron ; treasurer, A. O. Nelson ; secretary, L. A. Sherman ; gen- 
eral manager, C. E. Gilbert. The present officers are the same, 
with the exception of L. A. Sherman is now both secretary and 
treasurer. The capital stock has been increased to $35,000. 

The Austin Weed Exterminator Manufacturing' Company, 
manufacturers of the Austin Quack Grass Destroyer, conduct one 
of Austin 's growing industries. The officers are : President, A. 
W. Wright; vice-president, Matt. Smith; secretary, E. H. Smith; 
treasurer, T. A. Revord ; assistant secretary and manager, T. A. 
Revord; directors, A. W. Wright, R. R. Murphy, Matt. Smith, 
T. A. Revord, E. H. Smith, J. L. Gulden, J. E. Pitzen, N. Nicholseu 
and C. A. Hegge. This company was incorporated in 1905 and for 
the first three years put out a machine which, while it did good 
work, was far too expensive. About two years ago the company 
started another Quack Grass Destroyer, which sells for half what 
the first machine did and still does very much better Avork. No 
farmer need have nnich fear of this pest while such a machine can 
be obtained. The company is selling a great many of the ma- 
chines, being behind on orders most of the time. Several dealers 
buy the machines in carload lots, as where they have been intro- 
duced thry sell very easily. 

The Austin Gas Company supplies some 600 customers and 
puts out about 1. 000, 000 culjic feet of gas a month. The company 
was incorporated for the maniifaeture and distribution of gas 
August 25, 1905, with the following officers: President, John R. 
Howie; vice-president, F. J. Gates; secretary, C. Leckbank. The 


incorporators were these gentlemen and R. J. Breckinridge and 
LaFayette French. The present officers are : President, John R. 
Howie ; vice-president, R. J. Breckinridge ; secretary, F. J. Gates. 
The capital stock is $60,000. The office of the company is at 133 
Bridge street and the plant is on the east side of River street, 
north of East Winona. May 6, 1911, the plant was sold to Z. T. F. 
Runner, of Freeport, Illinois. 

The F. H. McCulloch Printing Company Avas established in 
1892 under the lirra name of Hunkins & McCulloch, Mr. Ilunkins 
then publishing the Austin Daily Herald and Mr. McCulloch 
having charge of the job printing. This partnership was dis- 
solved in 1894: by the purchase by Mr. McCulloch of Mr. Hun- 
kins' interest in the job department. The job printing business 
was then conducted separate from the Herald under the firm name 
of the F. H. McCulloch Printing Company. This business was 
first conducted in the rooms over the building on the corner of 
IMain and "Water streets. Later it was moved to the south end 
of Main street, and after a period of one year removed back to 
the old quarters. Owing to increasing business in 1900 larger 
quarters were secured in the Schleuder block, Avest of the court- 
house, and in 1902, again becoming cramped for space, they 
removed to the Joseph Keenan one-story building, on Bridge 
street, where they occupied the entire building until 1910, when 
they removed to the present location, 200-202 Chatham street. 
In 1908, owing to the fast increasing business and the necessity 
for more capital, the business was incorporated under the firm 
name of The F. H. iMcCulloch Printing Company, with an author- 
ized capital of $50,000. The first officers under the corporation 
being: F. H. McCulloch, president and manager; A. M. Lewis, 
vice-president; W. B. Edwards, secretary, and J. L. Mitchell, 
treasurer. The same officials are holding the same positions at 
the present time. Printing and publishing is the business of the 
company, making a specialty of the finest kind of catalog work, 
both in color work and half-tones. Their product is shipped to 
every state in the Union west of the Mississippi river and to a 
few states in the East. An up-to-date linotype plant is run in 
connection, setting the type for from twelve to fifteen newspapers 
in this section. From fifteen to twenty people are constantly 
employed and the prospects indicate that this number will be 
doubled in the next two years. At the present time tAvo floors of 
the building occupied are devoted to the business, with the third 
floor held in reserve for future needs. This year a new line of 
business has been added in the importing and jobbing of wall 
pockets, leather goods, aluminum goods, advertising novelties 
and the manufacture of calendars, which necessitated a salesman 
being placed on the road. This establishment is equipped with 


the latest and best maehinery for the execution of high class 
printing and its present large clientage is an excellent criterion 
for its future success. 

Tlie Peerless Rolling Mills. Since the earliest days the east 
side of the Red Cedar river, near where Water street crosses it. 
has been the site of a mill. For many years the Engle mill was 
there, and in modern times the Peerless Roller Mills, owned and 
operated by A. S. Campbell, occupy the same site. The modern 
history of the mills dates from 1886, when A. S. and L. G. Camp- 
bell purchased a small mill near the C, M. & St. P. railroad sta- 
tion. In 1890 they purchased the old Engle mill. Alexander S. 
Campbell is now the sole proprietor. The mills are run partly 
by power derived from a water wheel, but the greater part of 
the power is generated in the lower mill, some miles down the 
river, and transmitted by wire to the mills on Water street, 
where it is belted to the main driving shaft. 

The Austin mills have a capacity of 200 barrels of flour every 
twenty-four hours. They manufacture the celebrated Peerless, 
Diamond White and White Rose wheat flour, not only for domes- 
tie trade, but for export, the company making large shipments 
to Great Britain. They also manufacture buckwheat flour and 
corn meal. A. S. Campbell is the proprietor of the Peerless Flour 
Mills in Austin and also of the Red Cedar Mills, which are located 
five miles south of the city. These mills run ' constantly, never 
shutting down except for repairs. The product is the equal of 
any in the great flour state and enjoys a reputation with the best. 
It is in greatest demand by the discriminating housewife and 

The Red Cedar Mills, located south of the city, are under the 
same ownership as the Peerless Roller Mills. The mills were 
built in 1867 and 1868, by Jonathan Gregson. In 1875 the build- 
ing was enlarged and improvements were again made in 1879. 
The first roller system in this county was introduced in this mill. 
The plant is now equipped with a dynamo, which furnishes power 
for the mills and also for the Peerless Mills at Austin. 

The Schleuder Paper Company, wholesale paper dealers and 
manufacturers of souvenir postal cards, was started in January, 
1901, at 305 Main street. Later it was moved to 124 Bridge 
street, where the company expects soon to open a large retail 
store, to be devoted exclusively to the stationery business. The 
building and warehouses were erected in 1903, and all the build- 
ings now occupied by the concern furnish a floor space of about 
15,000 square feet. About twenty hands are employed. The 
printers' stock, wrapping paper, stationery and bags handled by 
the company find a ready market in Minnesota, Iowa and North 
and Soutli Dakota, while 1lic souvenir postal cards made liere are 


sold from coast to coast. The concern manufactnres a great 
many of its specialties, such as tablets, etc.. and has a large plant 
devoted to the making of souvenir postal cards and to the hand 
coloring of local view post cards. The officers of the company 
are : President, G. Schleuder ; vice-president and treasurer, F. A. 

Sven Anderson & Son started in the implement and carriage 
business ]\Iarch 1, 189(). in a building at 212 Bridge street, on the 
present site of the Elk Hotel. About January 1, 1897, the monu- 
mental and cut stone business was added to the implement busi- 
ness. During the winter of 1899-1900 the building at 216-218 
North Chatham street was erected and occupied. There the busi- 
ness was conducted until February 15, 1909, when the implement 
department was sold to Anderson & Brown. The monument de- 
partment was continued at its present location. January 1. 1906. 
the shop, stock, etc., of T. J. Abrahams was purchased and con- 
ducted at the corner of Water and Franklin streets until the 
lease of the grounds expired, August 1, 1908, at which time the 
present shop building was completed and occupied. The business 
is principally confined to the making and setting of monumental 
work in this and adjoining counties, although work has also been 
done in all of the adjoining states. The soldiers and sailors' 
monument and in fact all the larger monuments in the local ceme- 
tery are from this concern, as indeed are most of the larger 
monuments throughout the county. In connection with the 
monumental work the company furnishes cut stone work and has 
executed many heavy contracts in this line in Mower and Free- 
born counties, as well as in other parts of ]\Iinnesota and in Iowa. 

Railroad Industry. The railroads in Austin give employment 
to some one hundred and fifty men. In 1867 the machine shops and 
roundhouse of the C, JM. & St. P. were constructed here. In 
1887 this company moved its shops here from \Yells, receiving as 
a bonus from the city $10,000 in money and ten acres of land. 
Austin is one of the big railroad centers of Minnesota. Here 
passengers change cars going north, south, east and west, for 
Austin is the division point of six divisions of the Chicago, ilil- 
waukee & St. Paul railroad. Through the heart of the city runs 
the through line of the Chicago Great Western, between St. Paul 
and Omaha. Through the city will pass the fast freights from 
Pugot Sound to Chicago over the Chicago, ]\Iilwaukee & St. Paul 
road. Fourteen passenger trains and forty freight trains run 
into and out of Austin on an average every day in the year. The 
Chicago. ^Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company pays from 
$23,000 to $2r),000 every month to its employes in this city. The 
shops and roundhouse of this company give employment to a 
large and increasing force of the best mechanics, for here every 


engine on 1,000 miles of road eomes to be repaired and refitted at 
stated intervals. Forty-six of these iron horses are eared for 
exclusively in these shops. Every day from thirty to thirty-five 
locomotives may be counted in the yards and the roundhouse. 
Austin is the inspecting point and every time, night or day, that 
a train comes into this city on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
line, every Pullman car, every day coach, every freight car is 
inspected. There are fifty-tM'o Pullman and day coaches cleaned 
here daily and their sanitary condition inspected. 

The Austin Dairy Company was organized April 1. 1903, under 
the name of Austin Co-Operative Milk Company, for the pur- 
pose of bottling and selling milk and cream, and later for buying 
hand-separated cream for making butter. The company was 
organized with a capital stock of $6,000-, with F. W. Kimball, 
president ; C. B. Dibble, treasurer, and J. J. Rugg, secretary and 
manager. The business was located on the corner of Chatham 
street and Oakland avenue. On September 30, 1905, a meeting 
of the stockholders was held, at which time the capital stock was 
increased to $20,000, the name changed to Austin Dairy Com- 
pany, the same officers, except treasurer (D. H. Stimson being 
elected for that place), elected, and the company incorporated. 
The building at 112 East Maple street was bought and put in 
shape to be used as a milk station and creamery, and the latter 
part of October, 1905, the company moved from their old quar- 
ters to their own building. In the fall of 1906 the building Avas 
enlarged and ice cream machinery piit in, since which time they 
have manufactured ice cream during the summer time. After 
the death of Mr. Stimson in July, 1907, ]\Irs. D. H. Stimson was 
elected treasurer. Othei-wise the officers have remained the same. 
In the fall of 1910 the company bought the property on the corner 
of Mill and Franklin streets, known as the Majors building, since 
which time they have been carrying on a produce business in 
eggs and poultry. The company employs six men and two women 
regularly, and in rush seasons a half a dozen more men are 

The North Star Dairy Company also does a flourishing busi- 
ness. A history of this concern is found in the biographical 
sketch of Charles B. Dibble, elsewhere in this volume. 

Austin's Cement Products. Cement drain tile has been dem- 
onstraled to bo one of the best materials for farm drainage. 

Nels Mickelson manufactures not only cement block, brick and 
tile, but also cement sewer pipe two feet in diameter. The city 
of Austin has used much of this sewer pipe and finds it as satis- 
factory as the vitrified clay product. 

C. E. Dickens is one of the oldest of the cement Avorkers and 


beside the oi'dinary cement product he produces much orna- 
mental cement work. 

Thomas Rochford also manufactures fine grades of cement 
block. He makes a steel reinforced cement post that is much in 
use for fencing pastures and fields. 

M. P. Underberger lays cement sidewalks and does cement 

The Austin Cement Stone and Tile Company was organized 
and incorporated under the state laws of Minnesota, April, 1908, 
for the purpose of manufacturing cement drain tile, building 
blocks, brick, fence posts and such other articles as pertain to 
cement construction. The original capital stock Avas $50,000 
preferred and common, the incorporators and first officers being : 
President, C. H. AVebber : secretary, J. L. Mitchell ; treasurer and 
manager, E. W. Marsh. The officers still remain the same. The 
plant is located in the city of Austin, just south of the George 
A. Hormel & Co. plant, and the building is of heavy concrete 
block, equipped with the latest modern machinery, including a 
forty horse-power boiler and a twenty-five horse-power electric 
motor. The plant has a floor space of 9,000 square feet, including 
three steam-tight curing rooms. Some fifteen to eighteen men are 
employed. The daily output of the drain tile varies from 3,000 
to 5,000 per day, according to the size. The drain tile and build- 
ing blocks find a large market in Austin and vicinity, but much 
i.s also shipped to distant points. This plant is the first of its 
kind started in this city, and has been very successful. Its aim 
is to excel in the quality of its manufactured goods, and all its 
products are steam-cured and made by the latest improved 
methods. The company owns the land upon which the plant is 
located and also a fine sandpit of fifteen acres. The office is at 
321 North ^Main street. 

Woodworking. Austin lias two Avoodworking establishments, 
those of r. F. Stillman and Henry Waterman. The story of tliese 
plants is told in the sketches of their respective owners. 

Printing and Binding. Austin has an excellent book bindery, 
that of J. M. Beck, and each of the newspapers have .iob printing 
departments. The MeCulloeh company is mentioned elsewhere. 

Machine and Wagon Shops. Austin has two splendid machine 
sliops, each employing mechanics capable of doing any repair 
work and doing it well and quickly. There are two Avagon shops 
Avhere A'ehicles are not only repaired but AA'here ncAV ones are 
built for the trade. A gunmaker is also located here. The ma- 
cliine shop proprietors are J. E. Hanson and Arthur Carlson: 
the Avagon makers, J. Z. Rogers and "W. ]\r. Hanson, and the gun- 
maker is Henry C. "Waldecker. There are three exclusive l)lack- 
smith establishments, Sorenson & Neilson and Lars Hansen. 


Austin Candy Company manufactures all grades of pure con- 
fections from taft'y to creams. It ships goods as far west as 
McLeod, Mont. It also manufactures for the jobbers in the 
Twin Cities and for the local trade. Experienced candy makers 
are employed. 

The Cummings Brush Manufacturing Company has been in 
operation since August, 1910, and while only a new business, it 
lias created a great demand for its manufactured goods. The 
Cummings brushes are on the market in many of our largest 
cities, handled by jobbers and wholesalers in Cincinnati, New 
York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Des Moines, Kansas 
City, Omaha, Council Bluft's, Minneapolis, St. Paul, LaCrosse/, 
Dubuque, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and many other towns and vil- 
lages. Mr. Cummings has put out a very neat and up-to-date 
catalogue and his system of putting manufactured goods on the 
market has proved a success in every line he has undertaken. 
Mr. Cummings will add more machinery and increase the capacity 
to meet the demands for liis manufactured goods. 

T. F. Cummings Bottling Works. — In February, 1894, this con- 
cern was started in a small way and now its daily capacity is 
500 cases. All kinds of soft drinks are made and bottled here. 
The water used is from the Trio Siloam springs. These springs 
are of the purest water and as they have medicinal qualities are 
carbonated and bottled. Mr. Cummings prides himself that 
every constituent that is used in the manufacture of his bottled 
goods is the purest that the market affords. Mr. Cummings also 
has a large trade in table and bar glassAvare. 

E. H. Smith Land & Loan Company. This business was estab- 
lished November I, 1900, with E. H. Smith as manager and 
remains the same at this date. For several years the business 
consisted principally of buying and selling western lands par- 
ticularly in western Minnesota and North Dakota, also doing 
considerable business in western Canada. Since 1905" the firm 
has done a large business in Montana in both irrigated and dry 
lands. Commencing with the fall of 1909 it has done a large 
business in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa selling prin- 
cipally to central Iowa and northern Illinois farmers, and during 
this period has located nearly one hundred well-to-do farmers 
from the east and south in southern ]\Iiunesota and northern 
Iowa. It also does an extensive farm loan business, marketing 
its securities principally in the east. It also has one of the lead- 
ing fire insurance agencies in the city. The E. H. Smith Land & 
Loan Company was the first exclusive real estate and loan busi- 
ness established in the county. Mr. Smith was born and raised in 
Mower county, has traveled extensively through the middle and 


western states, aud is, witliout tloulit. one of the best j)()slc,l i-eal 
estate men in the Noitliwest. 

Austin Cement Works. Jn the s[)ring- of tlie year 1893 Frank 
Fowler, the senior meinlier of the eopartnership of Fowler & Pay. 
quarry owners and nianut'aeturers of building materials of IMan- 
kato, Minn., finding that the. trade required something better for 
stone and briek building purposes than the mortar in general 
use at that time, and being a geologist of more than the average 
knowledge and a chemist of no mean ability, he started a general 
search for a particular kind of stone from which a first class 
grade of natural cement could be manufactured. After much 
seeking over this and adjoining states aud an almost discourag- 
ing number of fruitless experiments with the different kinds of 
stone found, the particular kind of stone wanted was finally 
located in Mower county, Minnesota, three and one-half miles 
south of the city of Austin on the banks of Rose creek (a tribu- 
tary of the Cedar river) near both the Chicago Great Western 
and Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railways, thereby affording 
the best of shipping facilities. The necessary land containing 
this stone was immediately secured, all preparations made and 
the building of this works stai'ted early in the following year 
(189-i). This work, consisting of opening a stone quarry, grad- 
ing for the railroad tracks, erecting buildings containing about 
two acres of floor space and installingthe machinery was rushed 
to completion in record time under the able personal supervision 
of the then, as now, only members of the firm, Frank Fowler and 
Frank B. Pay, at a cost of about $50,000 and named the Austin 
Cement Works. After a short period of successful manufacture 
of a first class grade of cement known as Austin natural cement, 
the entire works were destroyed by fire. This calamity coming 
so soon after the expense of building the works and creating a 
demand for its product would naturally be very discouraging to 
the strongest hearts and a much larger bank account, but the 
owners of the remaining pile of ashes and ruined machinery being 
men of the "never say die" type immediately resumed work 
where they had so recently finished and erected buildings one- 
third larger than those destroyed by the fire. This work, as 
before, was rushed to completion aud the finished product placed 
on the market in the shortest possible time without having sold 
or offered any stock for sale. Fowler & Pay still being the sole 
owners and operators. The works have been in almost constant 
operation since the time of rebuilding and employ twenty-five 
men daily, improvements having been made from time to time 
that have increased the capacity to 100,000 barrels annually of a 
better grade of natural cement and bricklayers" cement than any 
natural cement works in this country. This cement is recom- 


mended for all kinds of brick and stone building purposes, under 
street paving, cellar floors and cisterns, as it sets quite rapidly 
under water; a market for the bulk of this material is found 
throughout the great Northwest. In connection with the Austin 
Cement Works there are five family houses and a large boarding 
house for the convenience of the employees who desire to live 
near their work, also a large farm, a part of which the resident 
employees have for pasture and gardening purposes, rent free. 
It has always been the policy of this firm to treat its customers, 
employees, neighbors and friends with the utmost consideration 
in all business or other affairs, and they have shown their appre- 
ciation for seventeen years by there never having been any 
serious litigation, labor troubles or any disturbance that is so 
disastrous to the good will that should exist between all parties 

Other industries of Austin are as follows : Real estate and 
insurance: E. H. Smith Land Company, Four Counties Land 
Company, Southern Minnesota Land Company, Gilbert Sorflaten, 
James Sneider, F. P. Dawes & Co., F. A. Tichenor, Lyman D. 
Baird, Alfred C. Page, Rockford Land Company, C. H. Webber, 
J. D. SheedJ^ Fuel : Gripman Bros., John F. Fairbanks, Mower 
County Co-operative Elevator and Fuel Company, and all the 
lumber yards. Stock dealers: F. P. Dawes, A. R. Thompson, 
W. P. Miner, Elihue B. Smith. Horse dealers: Edward D. and 
Michael J. Feeney. Junk dealers: Charles Dubinsky, R. Rosen- 
thal. Telephones: Interstate, Northwestern. Liveries: Furtney 
& Bassett, H. 0. Peck. Hacks and carriages: John R. Mears. 
Bakeries: Home bakery, People's bakery, A. V. McConnell. 
Barbers: Roy Woodard, Martin, Lee, A. M. Lee, A. C. Hanson, 
Gyp. Ilillam, George Heimer, C. W. Brown, Roy Chaffee, William 
Bump, Putnam & Casper. Tailors : H. 0. Herman, F. C. Price, 
AVilliam Cutter, Henry Jacobs. Auctioneers: Lovell & Herzog, 
J. S. Attlesey. Contractors and Iniilders: Sullivan & Schroedel, 
George Beckel, Lars P. Erickson, T. Beatty, Torger Martinson, 
C. F. Stillman, Henry Waterman. Greenhouse : A. N. Kinsman. 
Nurseries: J. M. Lindsey. C. F. Woodle. Painters: W. J. Avery, 
J. L. Cooley. Theaters: Idle Hour, Bijou. Photographers: Fair- 
banks Bros., George Bucklin, II. C. Bishop, ^l. II. Vosburgli. 
Tee: Gripman Bros., S. L. Young. Austin Rug Co. Austin Brush 
AVorks. Fjuinlx'i' yai'ds: F. T. Ci-ane, Slower County Liunl)ei- 
Company. Ei']ii)S(' l^uinljci- Company. Elevators: Iluntting Ele- 
vator Company, W. TJ. Symes. Gi-iin buyers: E. T. Beemis, 
Af. B. O'llalloraii, AV, TI. Syuu-s. Restaurants: Normal res- 
taurant, the Gem, Antliony .N. Roble. PTotels: Elk, Fo.x. Grand. 
Depot, Harrington, Central, German, American. Agricultural 
ittipleiiicnts : .\ustiti I'luiiibing and Healing Com]>any, AV. A. Alur- 


ray, AVm. Christie & Son. Meat dealers: J. P. Zender, 11. P. 
Zender, Central Market. Laundries: Austin Steam Laundry, 
Austin Purity Laundry. Electricians: liursli & Wood, Iluinmcl 



Masonic Orders — Odd Fellows — Pythian Orders— Catholic Orders 
— Order of Elks — Other Fraternal Orders— Patriotic Orders — 
Catholic Orders — Railroad Orders — Fraternal Insurance — 
Scandinavian and Teutonic Lodges Industrial — Driving Asso- 
ciation — Edited by Osman J. Simmons. 

The sociability and spirit of brotlierliness which exists in 
Austin is shown by the number of societies and clubs tliat flourish 
here. Practically all the standard organizations are represented, 
some of the local lodges dating back to the seventies. In order 
to furnish a meeting place for this large niimber of orders, halls 
have been equipped as follows: ^Masonic hall, Elks' hall, Colum- 
bus hall, Kinsman's hall, G. A. R. hall, Harmona hall, I. O. O. F. 
hall. Commercial Club rooms, and the "Woodmen's hall (Hirsch). 
All these halls are conveniently located, nicely furnished and 
well adapted to the purpose for which they are intended. 

In this chapter it has been the aim to give briefly the history 
of the leading fraternities of Austin. The societies Avhose his- 
tories do not appear here are those whose secretaries have re- 
fused to furnish the desired information. 


iMasonry in Austin dates back to the first year of the Civil 
Avar. The Masons of the city now have a fine liall and are rep- 
resented by four local bodies: Austin Chapter, No. 14, R. A. ^I. ; 
St. Bernard Commandery, No. 13, Knights Templar; Fidelity 
Lodge, No. 89. A. F. & A. :\r.. and Unity Cliapter, No. 29, O. E. S. 

Fidelity Lodge, No. 39, A. F. & A. M., was organized Dccembei- 
5, 186], under a dispensation granted by tlie Right AVorshipful 
Grand ^Master of tlic State of Minnesota, tlie meeting Ix'ing held 
at "Masonic hall. The officers and members pn'sciil were as fol- 
loAVS: B. F. Jones, AV. ^[.- E. W. Lord, S. AV. : A. S. Lott, J. AV. : 
II. C. Huntington, treasurer; Oliver Somers, secretary; E. Parli- 
nuvn, T. ; J. L. Clark, A. Galloway. A charter was granted by the 


grand lodge October 28. ]863, and sigued by the folloAving grand 
officers : Most Worshipfnl A. T. C. Piersou, grand master ; Right 
Worshipfal S. Y. ^Mc^Masters, D.D., LL. D., depi;ty grand master ; 
Right Worshipful Levi E. Thompson, grand senior warden; 
Right Worshipful Clark W. Thompson, grand junior warden. 
The following were named as officers : B. F. Jones to be ^Y. M., 
James C. Ackley to be S. W., and Oliver Somers to be J. W. The 
lodge was constituted February 3, 1864, and AY. M. James C. Ack- 
erly, who had previously been installed by A. T. C. Pierson, 
G. M., installed the following officers : 0. Somers, S. W. ; V. P. 
Lewis, J. W. ; A. D. Fenton, treasurer ; LeRoy Hathaway, secre- 
tary; 0. W. Sawyer, S. D. ; J. C. Smith, J. D. ; H. Houseman, T. ; 
H. C. Huntington, S. S. ; A. S. Lott, J. S. The following have 
been grand masters: B. F. Jones, 1861-63; James Ackerly, 1864; 
Oliver Somers, 1865-66; LeRoy Hathaway, 1867-70; Daniel B. 
Johnson, Jr. ; A. J. Phelps, 1869 ; G. G. Clemmer, 1871-73 ; John 
M. Greenman, 1874; William T. Wilkins, 1875-1880-81; I. Ing- 
mundson, 1876-1878-79; J. AY. Eldridge, 1877; Charles L. AVest, 
1882-1886; Joseph Adams, 1883-84-85; William Todd, 1887-88- 
89-1905; Lewis E. Day, 1890; Sumner A. Emerson, 1891-92-93; 
Russell E. Shepherd, 1894-95 ; Alfred C. Page, 1896-97 ; Fred B. 
Wood, 1898-99; John H. Anderson, 1900-01-02; John H. Robert- 
son, 1903-04; M. O. Anderson, 1906-07; George Dutcher, 1908: 
Peter Hanson, 1909-10 ; Fred C. IJlmer, 1911. The present officers 
are : Fred C. Ulmer, W. M. ; Fred L. AYilliams, S. AY. ; Gustave 
Butzke, J. AY. ; Charles L. AA'^est, treasurer ; Floyd H. Ober, sec- 
retary; O. J. Benton, S. D. ; AA'illiam P. Bennett, J. D. ; Rev. 
B. H. AA^histon, C. ; J. AY. Hare, S. S. ; Guy V. Burlingame, J. S. ; 
Charles E. AA^arren, T. The present Masonic hall on the second 
floor of the Schleuder building is owned jointly by the Blue 
Lodge, Chapter and Commandery. A site has been purchased 
on AA'ater street, facing the north end of Chatham street, for the 
purpose of erecting thereon a Masonic temple. John AL Green- 
man is the oldest living past master of the lodge, and Charles L. 
West, one of the past masters, is deputy grand master of 
the state grand lodge. 

Austin Chapter, No. 14, Royal Arch Masons, was organized 
under a dispensation, Alarcli 8, 18(17, tlie following officers having 
been appointed by Grand Iligli Priest B. F. Smith: Charles H. 
Paddock, H. P.; Solomon Snow, K. ; A. B. Vaughan, S. The 
companions present were E. C. Dorr, C. B. Staples, AA^. AA^. Brown- 
son, B. F. Jones, J. F. Sargent and C. Tripp. The dispensa- 
tion had been granted to the following companions : Charles H. 
Paddock, C. B. Staples, E. C. Dorr, Solomon SnoAV, S. Partridge, 
B. F. Jones, A. W. Wliite, A. B. Vaughan and AA^. AY. Brownson. 
A charter was <.'raiife(l by 1he grand chapter, October 23, 1867, 


and sig-ned by tlio following grand officers: B. F. Smith, G. H. P.; 
Charles N. Danils, D. G. H. P. ; A. T. C. Pierson, G. K. ; C. W. 
Nash, G. S., being consecrated December 25, 1867. The following 
officers, who had previously been elected, were installed: C. H. 
Paddock, II. P. ; S. Snow, K. ; A. B. Vaughan, S. ; H. M. Allen, 
C. of H. : C. J. Paddock, P. S. ; L. R. Hathaway, R. A. C. ; B. F. 
Jones, M. of third V. ; L. A. Sherwood, M. of second V. ; G. G'. 
Clemmer, 31. of first V. ; S. Smith, treasurer ; J. C. Smith, secre- 
tary; L. W. Smith, sentinel. The following have been high 
priests: Charles H. Paddock, 1867-68; C. J. Paddock, 1868-69; 
A. J. Phelps, 1869-70; C. J. Paddock, 1870-71; Solomon Snow, 
1871-73; A. J. Phelps, 1873-74; R. B. Davis, 1874-75; I. Ingmind- 
scn, 1875-76 ; Charles L. West, 1876-77 ; I. Ingmundson, 1877-78 ; 
Charles L. West, 1878-82 ; Eugene Wood, 1882-88 ; Nathan Kings- 
ley, 1888-90 ; Charles L. West, 1890-93 ; William Todd, 1893-97 ; 
George W. Bliss, 1897-1900: R. L. Johnson, 1900-01; George 
Doehne, Jr., 1901-03; Wallace Gregson, 1903-07; Thaddeus S. 
Thompson, 1907-08; John H. Anderson, 1908-09; I. T. Tollifson, 
1909-10; Thaddeus S. Thompson, 1911. The present officers are: 
Thaddeus S. Thompson, H. P. ; Peter Hanson, K. ; G. ]\I. F. Rogers, 
8. : William Todd, treasurer : Floyd H. Ober, secretary ; F. L. 
AYilliams, C. of H. ; R. L. DeGroodt, P. S. ; Guy Burlingame, 
R. A. C. ; AY. P. Bennett, M. of third V. ; C. A. Carlson, M. of sec- 
ond Y. ; Irvin Fox, M. of first V. ; C» E. Warren, sentinel. Of the 
past high priests, C. L. West, William Todd and Nathan Kingsley 
are past grand high priests of the state grand chapter, and Judge 
Kingsley is grand high priest of the genei'al grand chapter of 
Royal Arch Masons of the United States of America and her 

St. Bernard Commandery, No. 13, Knights Templar, had its 
beginning January 20, 1881, when the Grand Commander of the 
State of Minnesota granted to D. B. Smith, as E. C. ; Eugene 
Wood as G. and J. S. Anderson as C. G., permission to organize 
a commandery at Austin. The first conclave was held January 
31, 1881, and the above named officers were present. The emi- 
nent commander appointed the following officers: D. B. Johnson, 
Jr., prelate ; J. G. AYarner, S. A\\ ; Stephen Ives, J. AY. ; E. C. Dorr, 
treasurer: C. H. Davidson, recorder; John ]\Iahoney, standard 
bearer ; AI. E. Frisbee, S. AY. ; John Frank, warden : A. K. A'^andei-- 
walker, sentinel. The charter was granted by the grand com- 
mandery, January 24, 1881, and was signed by the following 
grand officers: AYilliam AA^'illiston, G. C. ; Robert L. AlcCormick, 
D. G. C: Luther Z. Rogers. G. G. ; AYilliam G. Bronson. The 
commandery was duly constituted July 28, 1881, by Grand Com- 
mander R. L. McCormiek, assisted by L. Z. Rogers, G. ; Henry 
Birkett, C. G.-. L. AViieelock, P. Tbo-e were present twenty-tliree 


Sir Knights of the eomniaudery at Owatonna, and the following 
officers were duly installed: D. B. Smith, E. C. ; Eugene Wood, 
G. ; J. S. Anderson, C. G. ; E. B. Crane, P. ; E. C. Dorr, treasurer ; 

C. H. Davidson, recorder ; W. H. Sutherland, S. W. ; F. D. Decker, 
J. W.; A. Friedrich, St. B. ; E. R. Daniels, S. B. ; E. H. Gerard, 
warden; J. B. Beecher, George Haraberg, H. W. Wilson, guards; 
A. K. Vanderwalker. The following have been the commanders: 

D. B. Smith, 1881-85; Eugene Wood, 1885-87; J. S. Anderson, 
1887-88; A. Friedrich, 1888-89 and 1894-95; C. L. West, 1889-90; 
C. I. Johnson, 1890-91 ; B. F. Farmer, 1891-92 ; Nathan Kiugsley, 
1892-94; N. S. Gordon, 1896-97; Henry Birkett, 1897-98; A. Mol- 
lison, 1898-99; George W. Bliss, 1899-1900; F. B. Wood, 1901-02; 
John Ober, 1902-03; George Doehne, Jr., 1903-04; George E. An- 
derson, 1905-06; William Todd, 1906-07; Wallace Gregson, 1907- 
08; C. F. Lewis, 1908-09; A. C. Page, 1909-11; J. H. Anderson, 
1911. The present officers are: J. H. Anderson, E. C. ; William 
Crane, G. ; A. C. Page, C. G. ; F. L. Williams, S. AY. ; G. M. F. Rog- 
ers, J. AY. ; J. L. Mitchell, treasurer ; W. P Bennett, recorder ; 
C.L.AYest, prelate ; Peter Hanson, St. B. ; Jacob Nicholson, Sw. B. ; 
AA'illiam Cutter, AY. ; C. E. AYarren, sentinel. Eugene AA^ood is the 
oldest living past commander. C. L. AYest, a past commander, 
lias been grand commander of the state commandery. 

Unity Chapter, No. 29, 0. E. S., was organized INIarch 20, 1890. 
Tlie first officers were: Mrs. Alibie L. Crane, worthy matron; 
Eugene AVood. worthy patron ; Sirs. Fannie Gordon, secretary. 
Tlie present officers are: Airs. Eloise AYilliams, Avorthy matron; 
Floyd Ober, worthy patron ; Mrs. Edith K. Robinson, secretary ; 
Mrs. Lena Dawes, treasurer ; Cora Dovenburg, conductress : Kate 
Todd, assistant conductress ; Ada, Airs. Gladys Dockstader ; 
Ruth, Helen Olson; Esther, ATrs. Eva Hope; Alartha, Airs. Alice 
Hall ; Electa, Frances Lewis ; chaplain. Airs. Rose Pettingill ; mar- 
slial. Airs, Jesse Hall; Airs. Nellie Allen; warden. Airs. 
Nellie DeGroodt : sentinel, Airs. E. C. Sutherland. 


Odd Fellowship in Austin dates from 1867. The order is now 
represented in Austin l)y tliree bodies, Austin Lodge, No. 20, 
I. 0. 0. F. ; Austin Encampment, No. 29, T. 0. 0. F., and Esther 
Rebekah Lodge, No. 4, I. O. 0. F. 

Austin Lodge, No. 20, L 0. 0. F., received its charter, Decein- 
l)cr 5, 1807, and tlie lodge was instituted with the following 
cliartcr members; II. A. Alaliew, E. P. LeSuer, O. S. Druery, 
Stephen Ives, L. G. Dudley. Oliver Somers, Aaron S. Everest, 
I>.;isil Smout. L. AY. Smitli. Tyler AY. AA^iodard, A. J. Phelps, L. 


Bouregard, N. P. Austin, R. J. Smith and Joseph Schwau. Tlie 
first meeting was held in a building on the site now occupied by 
the Austin Furniture Company. Afterwards meetings were held 
on the third floor of Richards' block, corner of Main and Mill 
street. The lodge owns the west half of Odd Fellows block, and 
is free from debt, with a good surplus in its treasury. It has at 
tlie present time 420 members on the register, and is in a most 
flourishing condition. On two occasions it has been honored 
signally by the selection from its ranks of grand masters as fol- 
lows: H. A. i\Iahew, 1869; D. II. Stimson, 1897. Both of these 
gentlemen served the state lodge with credit and distinction. The 
first elective oiificers of Austin lodge were H. A. Mahew, N. G. ;• 
Oliver Somers, V. G. ; E. P. LeSuer, secretary ; 0. S. Druery, treas- 
urer. The present elective officers are Frank Felch, N. G. ; James 
King, V. G. ; E. F. Peck, secretary ; Fialler Mann, treasurer ; H. P. 
Chapin, chaplain. 

Following is a list of the early No))le Grands : H. A. May- 
hew, Oliver Somers, A. S. Everest, R. I. Smith, C. H. Davidson, 
Joseph Schwan, Herman Gunz, A. G. Lawyer, George F. Fren- 
vvith, E. P. Van Valkenburgh, John Chandler, Rush B. Davis, F. 
J. ^layhew, A. E. Meigs, P. 0. French, Joseph Reinsmith, Lafay- 
ette French, D. H. Stimson, A. W. Kimball, C. H. Wilboiir, H. W. 
Elms, Edward Bigelow, "\Y. H. H. Bullock, John V. Owens and 
S. Sweningsen. 

Esther Rebekah Lodge, No. 4, I. 0. 0. F., was instituted 
March 10, 1870. with twenty-four charter members. It has been 
prominent in charitable work and has furnished a pleasing so- 
cial feature to Odd Fellowship in Austin. The present officers 
are : ilrs. ^laria Edson. N. G. ; Mrs. Fannie Herzog, V. G. ; 
]Mrs. Inez ]M. Elward, secretary ; ]Miss Myrtle Edson, treasurer. 


The principles of the Pythian fellowship are represented in 
Austin by two bodies, Austin Lodge, No. 55, K. P., and F'lora 
Temple, No. 26. Pythian Sisters. 

Austin Lodge, No. 55, K. of P., was instituted May 27, 1889, 
with forty-three charter members. The first officers were: C. C, 
H. R. Wood; V. C, L. Dettlebach; prelate, R. O. Hall; M. of E., 
A. B. Ilunkins; M. of E., William INI. Rol)erts; M. of A., Fred B. 
Wood; I. G., Sam. L. Collins; O. G., W. H. Benedict; trustees, 
E. B. Sterling, E. G. Potter and R. 0. Hall. The present officers 
are: C. C, W. J. rrl)atch ; V. C, W. L. Van Camp; prelate, C. F. 
Cook; K. of H. and S. and M. of F.. William Cutter; M. of E.. 
II. A. Goslee; M. of W., O. J. Simmons. 



Tlie Elks in Austin are in flourishing condition, the member- 
ship is of a high degree, and the quarters are very pleasant. 

Austin Lodge No. 414, Benevolent and Protective Order of 
Elks was instituted February 16, 1898, by District Deputy Grand 
Exalted Ruler Jolm E. King, of St. Paul. The ceremony of in- 
stitution was held in the court room of the court house. The 
lodge then leased what is noAv known as Odd Fellows' hall and 
remained there until February 15, 1901, Avhen they dedicated 
their present home. The first officers of the lodge were : Exalted 
ruler, R. J. Dowdall; E. L. K., J. J. Furlong; E. L. K., R. R, 
Murphy; E. L. K., T. C. Grant; secretary, W. A. Kubat; treas 
urer, E. Wood; tyler, J. J. Hayes: trustees, J. M. Greenman, Jos 
Keenan and S. Sweningsen. The following have served as pre 
biding officers of the lodge: R. J. Dowdall, J. J. Furlong, 0. J. 
Simmons, A. S. Campbell, L. D. Baird, W. N. Kendrick, W. D 
Rosbaeh, J. S. Wood, A. C. Page, J. L. Gulden, C. I. Riley, and 
E. H. Elward. The present officers are : Exalted ruler, Harry 
Rutherford ; E. L. K., R. A. Woodward ; E. L. K., J. J. Scallan ; 
E. L. K., M. F. Dugan; secretary, J. S. Wood; treasurer, W. J. 
Urbatch ; tyler, A. P. ]\loonan ; trustees, P. Bump, 0. J. Simmons 
and W. E. Terry. This lodge has been honored in the fact thf\t 
0. J. Simmons was district deputy grand exalted ruler under 
Grand Exalted Ruler William J. 'Brien in 1904-05. 


Lookout Aerie, No. 703, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and a nest 
of the Order of Owls, are located here, and have a fair member- 
ship among the young men of the city. 

Lookout Aerie, No. 703, F. 0. E., was instituted May 3, 1904, 
by J. AV. Shadewald, 8. D. G. P., with a charter list of sixty-six 
members. The officers were: J. H. Bryon, P. W. P.; J. J. 
Adams, W. P. ; W. R. Terry, W. V. P. ; J. D. Smith, W. C. ; W. L. 
Van Camp, W. S. ; Frank Sargent, W. T. ; George Dolan, W. 
Cond. ; Max Erdman, I. G. ; C. A. Gibson, 0. G. ; trustees, Charles 
Kaufman, H. J. Zender, J. E. Pitzen ; aerie physician, C. J. Lewis. 
The present officers are: P. W. P., C. F. Lewis; W. P., George 
Robertson ; W. V. P., H. W. Boody ; W. C, J. C. Taney ; W. Cond., 
L. G. Kappauf ; secretary, F. M. Zebder; treasurer, F. C. Wilbour; 
trustees, W. R. Terry, M. A. Morgan, L. H. Grau ; physician, 
H. F. Pierson. The present membership is 360. Since the organi- 
zation i|^6,200 has been paid in sick benefits. Funeral benefits 
liave amounted to .$350. The society pays a seven-dollar-a-week 


sick benefit and a $50 funeral benefit. The aerie has at present 
$2,000 at interest and $600 in the treasury as a working balance, 
with an income of about $270 a month. 

The Order of Owls is one of the youngest of the local fra- 
ternities. The charter officers were: President, II. J. Zender: 
past president, Thomas Rochford; vice president, T. Lembrick; 
invocator, AY. J. Rice ; treasurer, Ben Hart ; secretary, Peter Ca- 
pretz; warden, Lester Woodward; sentinel, Tracey Smith; 
picket, Thomas Tracy; trustees, M. J. Mayer, Joseph Wolf and 
Otto H. Jensen. The present officers are: President, H. J. Zen- 
der ; past president, Thomas Rochford ; vice president, A. Speck ; 
invocator, B. Speck ; treasurer, Ben Hart ; secretary, Peter Ca- 
pretz; warden, C. Ward; sentinel, Eldred Ondrick; picket, J. C. 
Harris; director, C. H. Johnson; trustees, M. J. Mayer, Joseph 
Wolf and Otto H. Jensen. 


There are four patriotic orders in Austin, the Mclntyre Post, 
No. 66, G. A. R. : Mclntyre Corps, No. 27, W. R. C. ; the Ladies of 
tlie G. A. R., and tlie Spanish-American War Veterans. 

Mclntyre Post, No. 66, Grand Army of the Republic. About 
1872, a Post was organized at Austin and conducted for a time, 
but like many of the original G. A. R. posts, it soon disbanded. 
jNIcIntj^re Post, No. 66, Avas organized March 7, 1884, by A. 
Swift, assisted by Comrades C. A. Warren, M. B. Johnson, B. 
iNlaxwell, N. N. Parmenter, B. E. Stimson and others, of the 
Henry Rogers Post No. 11, G. A. R., at Brownsdale. The fol- 
lowing were the first officers: Capt. W. H. Sutton, post com- 
mander: A. E. Christie, sen. vice commander; G. L. Case, jun. 
vice commander ; Rev. W. E. Stanley, chaplain ; H. W. Lightly, 
officer of the day ; John V. OAvens, quartermaster ; C. N. Beiseker, 
officer of the guard; Seymour Johnson, adjutant; M. M. Trow- 
bridge, sergeant major; H. B. Corey, Q. M. sergeant. It was 
voted to call the Post Mclntyre, after Capt. P. T. Mclntyre, of 
the 18th Wisconsin, and formerly county auditor and treasurer, 
wlio died in Austin about 1881. The vote stood twenty-six for 
"]McIntyre," and twenty-five for "INlcPhorson, '' in honor of 
General ^NlcPherson. 

Below is appended a list of tlu^ members who joined Alarch 
1 and lo, 1884, with the regimental connection of each: P. J. 
Cratzer, Co. F, lolst Ind. ; Seymour Johnson, Co. A, 32d Wis.; 
W. H. AYhitham, Co. B, 106th N. Y. ; W. E. Stanley, 29th Co., 
Mass. II. A. Vol. : J. A. Pierce, Co. A, 3d Wis.; George Fiehn, Co. 
A, 13th Wis.: J. R. Evans, Co. H. Batal. V. S. I. 16th Reg. ; J. IT. 
^VLansfield. Col. Keng's Staff: D. E. Bero, Co. C, 9th Minn.; Sam. 


H. Judd, Capt. Co. H, 153d Til. ; H. W. Lightly, Co. H, 29th Wis. ; 
Francis Neller, Co. H, 2d Minn. ; Jerry Ingalls, Co. I, 26th N. Y. ; 
R. M. Boyd, Co. B, 37th AVis. ; Chas. J. Miller, Sergt. Co. A, 1st 
Wis.; Wilson Beach, Corp. Co. H, 1st Minn. M. R. ; Geo. W. 
Varco, Co. B, 2d Minn. Cav. : J. H. DeRemer, Co. F, 3d Minn. ; 
J. C. Hawkins, Corp. 2d Ohio H. Art. ; William Bracken, Co. C, 
9th Minn. ; John Connor, Co. G, 6th Wis. ; Abram Newell, Co. I, 
17th 111. Cav. ; M. M. Trowbridge, Sergt. Co. C, 1st Wis. ; A. E. 
Christie, Sergt. Co. D, 19th Wis. ; Henry B. Corey, Corp. Co. A, 
2d ]\Iinn. Cav. Reg. ; John V. Owens, Co. K, 5th N. Y. H. A. ; W. 
H. Sutton, Capt. Co. I, 31st Ohio. ; G. L. Case, Capt. Co. H, 122d 
IT. S. C. T. ; Samuel Pinkham. Co. C, 3d Wis. Cav. ; H. H. Kent, 
Landsman U. S. Navy ; J. D. Woodward, Co. I, 1st N. Y. L. Art. ; 
Orrin H. Brown, Sergt. Co. B, 115th N. Y. ; W. D. Hogan, Corp. 
Co. K, 1st Conn. H. Art.; James Donaldson, Sergt. Co. E, 28th 
Wis. ; S. AA". Rice. Co. C, 9th Minn. ; M. Becker, Co. D, 22d Wis. 
Inft.; G. S. Cooper, Co. G, 12th AVis.; Simeon Chapman, Co. I, 
105th Pa.; H. G. Case, Sergt. Co. A, 2d Minn.; John E. Robin- 
son, Corp. Co. B, 2d Minn. Cav. ; E. P. Spooner, Sergt. Co. C, 9th 
Minn. ; R. Brooks, Co. C, 17th Ind. ; C. N. Beiseker, Co. F, 67th 
N. Y. ; Jos. Stephenson, Co. C, 117th N. Y. ; Isaac N. Howe, Co. 
M, 12th 111. Cav.; Jehial AVoodward, Co. B, 116t.h N. Y. ; A. J. 
Sharpstine, Co. K, 142d N. Y. ■ Henry Peck, Co. B, 2d Minn. ; D. 

B. Johnson, Jr., 1st Lieut. 1st Reg. INIinn. M. R. ; AValter F. 
Sutherland, Sergt. Co. B, U. S. Eng. Bat. ; E. L. Merry, Co. F, 
5th Minn.; John Robertson, Sergt. Co. F, 42d AVis.; Robert 
O'Brien, Co. H, 44th AA^is. ; William H. AA^aye, Co. I, 38th AVis.; 

C. P. Bell, Co. B, 2nd Minn. Cav. ; M. C. Little, Co. K, 32d AVis. ; 
E. R. Lathrop, chaplain, 10th Minn.; L. B. Fairbanks, Co. I, 3d 
A^t. •. Henry A. Chapin, Co. I, 1st Minn. ; A. H. Chapin, Co. C, 9th 
Ivlinn. ; L. Griffin, Co. H, 1st Minn. Rangers ; I. J. Densmore, 
Sergt. nth AVis.; J. S. Anderson, Co. I, 24th AVis.; A. D. Fair- 
banks, Co. E, 2d United States sharpshooters; P. Bump, 1st Lieut. 
Co. E, 22d Wis.; C. R. Paddock, Co. C, 115th N. Y. 

In all 220 veterans have joined Melntyre Post. Of these 
sixty-six are still members and eighty-seven are dead. Sixty- 
seven have moved away or been suspended. The Post has a 
meeting hall of its own, having purchased a lot and building 
December 15, 1890. The present officers are: Commander, John 
Fairbanks ; senior vice commander, Peter Cratzer ; junior vice 
commander, R. N. Boyd ; quartermaster serge.ant, P. Bump ; officer 
of the day, J. C. HaAvkins: officer of the guard, E. AVatkins; 
chaplain, J. D. Smith ; siu'geon, John Harpraan ; adjutant, J. H. 
DeRemer. The Post is one of the most flourishing in the state. 
In June, 1889. it had the pleasure of entertaining the Southern 
^Minnesota G. A. R. Association. 


Mclntyre Corps, No. 27, W. R. C, was organized April 5, 
1887, with twenty-two charter members. The first officers were 
as follows : President, Elizabeth Mclntyre ; senior vice presi- 
dent, Lottie Baird; junior vice president, Louisa Engle; secre- 
tary. Lizzie Sutton: treasurer, Mary Lovell; conductor, Lida 
Sutherland ; assistant conductor, Emma Dorr ; guard, Katie 
Jolmson : assistant guard, Maggie Ingalls ; chaplain, Mary Beach. 
The corps is now in a flourishing condition, with 102 members. 
The present officers are: President, Madge Smith; senior vice 
president, Mary Horrobin; junior vice president, Anna Gregg; 
secretary. Marietta Bump; treasurer, Clara Urbatch ; chaplain, 
Emma Neller ; conductor, Mattie Fairbanks ; guard, Abbie Hilker ; 
patriotic instructor, Elizabeth Mattice ; press correspondent, Eva 
Davison ; assistant conductor, Anna Seares ; assistant guard, 
flattie AVilliams; musician, Lulu Pitcher; color bearers, Nellie 
Hartley, Lou Hendricks, Laura Eddlebeck and Libby Roebuck. 
The corps is working in harmony with IMcTntyre Post, and in 
1906 erected a •i<l,200 monument on the soldiers' lot in Oakwood 

The I. K. Mertz Circle, No. 44, Ladies of the G. A. E., was or- 
ganized in Austin. November 3, 1898, by Julia E. Lobdell. This 
organization is a patriotic one, similar in many respects to the 
Daughters of the American Revolution, and its membership is 
restricted to the wives, sisters, blood nieces, and direct female 
descendants of veterans of the Civil war ; war nurses. Civil war 
veterans, and male deseendents of Civil Avar veterans being ad- 
mitted to honorary membership. The organization will be per- 
petuated by lineal deseendents. The first officers of the local 
circle were : President, Maggie Goodwin ; senior vice president, 
Hannah Bazter; secretary, Eva Webster; treasurer, Anna Fo- 
garty; chaplain. Frances Rice; conductress, Ella jNIady; assistant 
conductress, INFay Carter; guard, INIaria Hall: assistant guard. 
]\Iary E. Bero. The present officers are : President, Eva Web- 
ster ; senior vice president, Florence Chapin ; junior vice presi- 
dent. Frances Watkins; chaplain, Eva Carter; treasurer, Eunice 
Floyd : conductress, Florence Wait ; assistant conductress, Sarah 
Ondrick ; guard, ]\Iary Boyd ; assistant guard, Isabelle Watkins. 


Four organizations in Austin recruit their members from tlie 
Catliolic chuj'ch. They are: St. Augustine Court. No. of)?, Cath- 
olic Order of Foresters; St. ^Monica Court, No. 374, Women's 
Catholic Order of Foresters; Austin Council, No. 1201, Kniglits 
of Columbus and the Catholic Total Abstinence Society. 



The importance of the raih-oad industry in Austin naturally 
brings hundreds of railroad employes to make their home here, 
and as a consequence all the great railroad orders haA^e Austin 
divisions. Cedar River Division, No. 283, Brotherhood of Rail- 
road Trainmen ; Austin Division, No. 215, Order of Railroad Con- 
ductors: Austin Division, No. 102, Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers, and Comet Lodge, No. 126, Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Firemen and Engineers, each have a goodly membership, and 
the ladies' auxiliary to each of these organizations are also im- 
portant features in the life of the railroad people of the city. 

Austin Division, No. 215, Order of Railroad Conductors Avas 
organized August 30, 1 906, with the following charter members : 
E. E. Brooks, W. F. Clay, E. T. Dexter, A. J. Fox, W. B. Harter, 
Harry Hill, "William James, Martin Keavy, Thomas Keating, C. 
T. Paine, "W. R. Terry, AVilliam Plummer, Peter Gallagher, George 
Franklin, F. C. Tipp, Jacob Oleson, H. M. AVarfield, A. F. Mc- 
Lean, Frank McAdams, John Richard. The first officers were: 
Chief conductor, Thomas Keating; assistant chief conductor, H. 
M'. Warfield; secretary and treasurer, W. R. Terry; senior conduc- 
tor, W. F. Claj' ; junior conductor, William Plummer ; inside sen- 
tinel, George Franklin; outside sentinel, Jacob Oleson. The 
present officers are: Chief conductor, J. D. McCormiek; assist- 
ant chief conductor, Joseph Tucker ; secretary and treasurer, W. 
B. Harter; senior conductor, W. F. Clay; junior conductor, W. 
K. Terry ; inside sentinel, Joseph Kane ; outside sentinel, Ole Tol- 
bertson. From a membership of twenty, Austin Division has 
grown to a membership of fifty-three. This division is one of 
tlie best in its class -and nearly every conductor running out of 
Austin on the five divisions of railroad is a member of Division 
215. Each member is a good citizen and all are ready at all 
times to boost for Austin. The growth of the division has kept 
pace with the progress of the city and every member is true to 
the motto, Fidelity, Justice and Charity. 

Volunteer Division, No. 123, Ladies Auxiliary to the Order 
of Railroad Conductors, Avas instituted May 19, 1898, with the 
folloAving officers: President, Mrs. W. B. Terry; vice president. 
Mrs. Ida Clay: secretary and treasurer, Mrs. W. D. Plummer. 
The present officers are : President, Mrs. J. D. McCormiek ; vice 
president. Mrs. George Taylor; secretary and treasurer, Mrs. H. 
:\I. Warfi(>ld. 

Austin Division, No. 102, Brotherhood of Locomotive En- 
gineers, is one of the oldest fraternal societies in Austin. It Avas 
organized Fe])ruary 19, 1870, by Simon R. Clark, assisted by 
T. "NV. TIazelton. R. R. dark Avas elected chief engineer and ^l. 


E. Telfair first assistant engineer. William Anderson is the 
present chief engineer and Harry Matthews is the secretary and 
treasurer. The Austin division has a membership of ninety, witli 
$130,000 life and accident insurance in force. 

The J. D. Beeoher Division, No. 187, Ladies Auxiliary to the 
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, was organized January 
25, 1894, by Mrs. C. J. Clark, grand organizer, of Winona, with 
the following chapter members: Mrs. Wm. Anderson, Mrs. J. D. 
Beecher, Mrs. C. Campbell, Mrs. A. F. Mattice, Mrs. P. Cham- 
bers, Mrs. G. Smith, Mrs. M. Davey, Mrs. D. Sharrah, Mrs. H. 
Furtney, Mrs. J. Shook, Mrs. Thos. Flannigan, ]\Irs. J. Taylor, 
Mrs. C. Gilleece, Mrs. C. F. West, Mrs. J. Harriman, Mrs. E. G. 
Goth, Mrs. D. Hunt, Mrs. J. E. Ober, Mrs. R. Haseltine, Mrs. T. 
Claneey, Mrs J. McDonald, Mrs. J. Murphy. Of these there are 
twelve who are still members of the order. The first officers 
were : President, Mrs. AVm. Anderson ; vice president, Mrs. E. 
Goth ; secretary, Mrs. H. Furtney ; treasurer, Mrs. G. Smith ; in- 
surance secretary, Mrs. Harriman; chaplain, Mrs. A. F. Mattice; 
guide, Mrs. C. Campbell: sentinel, Mrs. T. Claneey; pillars, Mrs. 
C. Gilleece, Mrs. J. McDonald, Mrs. J. Harriman, Mrs. R. Hasel- 
tine. At present this order consists of thirty-seven members. 
The present officers are : Past president, Mrs. D. S. Barr ; presi- 
dent, Mrs. M. Mclnerny; vice president, Mrs. C. Gilleece; insur- 
ance secretary, Mrs. S. E. Pettengill; secretary, Mrs. E. H. 
Kough ; chaplain, Mrs. D. Hunt ; treasurer, Mrs. L. Nelson ; guide, 
Mrs. C. Erickson ; sentinel, Mrs. M. Lang ; marshals, Mrs. A. 
Damm, Mrs. R. Haseltine; musician, Mrs. Wm. Cook; pillars, 
Mrs. J. Lorenz, Mrs. T. Damn, Mrs. A. F. Mattice, Mrs. H. J. 

Pearl of Cedar Lodge, No. 223, Ladies Auxiliary to the 
Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, was organized July 29, 1901, 
with fifteen charter members and with the first vice grand mis- 
tress, Jeanette Turner in the chair. The meeting was held in 
the Engineers Hall, on East Water street, and the following of- 
ficers were elected: Councilman, George C. Taylor; past mis- 
press, Lizzie Brohm ; mistress, Mary Nockels; vice mistress, Julia 
Dineen; treasurer, Mary Taylor; chaplain, Luej'- Ellingson; sec- 
retary, Mayme Bi;shman : conductress, Ada Plum ; warden. Olga 
Gordon; inner guard, Mai-y Bushman; outer guard, Emma 
Franklin. The charter Avas a gift to the ladies from the Cedar 
River lodge, No. 283, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. The 
present officers are: President, Mayme Bushman; vice presi- 
dent, Nellie Smith ; chaplain, Anna Jeffries ; treasurer, Mattie 
Fairbanks; secretary. Hazel Harmaney; conductress, Viuuie 
Montey; warden, Ijouisa Darr: inner guard. Blanch Larson; 
outer guard, Elizabeth Bloomfield; delegate, Nellie Smith; alter- 


iiate, Kate Weise. There are at present thirty members, and 
meetings are held in the Order of Railroad Conductors Hall. 


The oldest fraternal insurance order in Austin, antedates in 
its date of organization, all the present orders in Austin except 
the Masons, the Odd Fellows and tlie Brotherhopd of Locomotive 
Engineers. The fraternal insurance orders now in existence in 
Austin are: Austin Homestead, No. 443, Brotherhood of Amer- 
ican Yeomen; Austin Tent, No. 16, Knights of the Maccabees; 
Queen Hive, No. 20, Ladies of the Maccabees ; Austin Council, No. 
53, jModern Samaritans ; Van Dusko Camp, No. 243, Modern 
Woodmen of America; Austin Council, No. 1654, Royal Ar- 
canum ; Cedar Camp, No. 205, Royal Neighbors ; Austin As- 
sembly, No. 204, Equitable Fraternal Union; Austin Lodge, No. 
31, Degree of Honor; Austin Lodge, No. 840, Mystic AYorkers ot! 
the World. 

Austin Lodge, No. 32, Ancient Order of United Workmen was 
organized in Austin, October 24, 1877, with charter members to 
the number of thirty. The first officers of the lodge Avere : Past 
master workman, D. B. Smith; master workman, L. 6. Wheeler; 
foreman, A. W. Kimball ; overseer, F. A. Richardson ; recorder, 
C. H. AVilbour; financier, E. P. Van Valkenburgh; receiver, Ed- 
win French ; guide, W. K. Hunkins ; inside watchman, F. H. 
Sterling; outside watchman, John Chandler. The ma,jority of 
the first officers and members are still living. Some have dropped 
from the order, l)ut a large number are still faithful members ■ 
after nearly thirty-four years of continued membership. The 
A. 0. U. AV. was the pioneer fraternal insurance order and the 
first to establish lodges in Minnesota and also the first in 
Austin. Austin Lodge, No. 32, has grown from a few members 
to an enrollment of over 600, and a present membership of 
225, and has paid to the widows and orphans of its de- 
ceased members jfi85,000. A record of which it may well be 
proud. The records of the lodge show that the men who 
have governed the lodge and helped to build it up are scat- 
tered from the Atlantic to the Pacific, as the following list 
of the past master workmen will show : D. B. Smith, L. E. Day, 
Jas. Cronan, P. PL Zender, 0. H. Harris, C. J. Hull, S. A. Smith, 
Geo. Robertson, E. C. Dorr, E. J. Phillips, Thos. F. Leonard, I. R. 
Wagner, John Rustad, E. W. Brennan, Peter Hanson, H. A. 
Gosler, W. K. Hawkins, L. Dettlebach, K. 0. AVold, N. J. 
Strever, A. E. Hall, S. H. Harrson, L. C. Fairbanks. 

The officers for the year 1911 are: Past master workman, H. 
A. C.nsler: mnstcr workman, AI. P. Underberger : foreman, Lafay- 


ette Crandall ; overseer, John Evenson ; i-ecorder, L. C. Fair- 
banks; financier, P. H. Zender; receiver, J. L. Mitchell; guide, 
E. J. Blomily; inside watchman, Jos. Leohmen; out'side watch- 
man, Frank i^dams; grand representatives, P. H. Zender and 
H. A. Gosler; trustees, E. A. Dalager, Gorm Hanson, Peter Han- 
son. The A. O. U. W. order rates of assessments were changed 
two years ago to an absolutely adequate basis of rates and a 
large surplus has been accumulated. This year the Minnesota 
jurisdiction seceded from the national organization and Minne- 
sota is now an independent organization with over 21,000 mem- 
bers. Aiistiu lodge is adding new members and is in a very 
prosperous condition, with prospects of paying many more 
thousands to more firmly establish the home for those who are 
left to mourn. 

Van Dusko Camp, No. 243, Modern Woodmen of America, was 
organized September 18, 1886, with thirty-seven charter members. 
The charter was granted October 20, 1886. Among the first 
officers were G. T. ]Mills, C. A. Pooler and L. F. Clausen. The 
cainp now has a membership of 467. There have been forty-three 
deaths in the camp and over $80,000 has been paid in benefit 
certificates. The present officers are: Consul, R. L. Furtuey; 
advisor, R. J. Thomson; banker, H. A. Goslee; clerk, E. H. 
Sterling; managers, William Cutter, J. E. Detwiler and H. C. 

Austin Council, No. 1654, Royal Arcanum, was organized 
and chartered October 7, 1895, with thirty-six members. The 
first officers were : Regent, N. S. Gordon ; vice regent, G. F. 
Baird ; orator, A. M. Lewis ; past regent, A. C. Page ; secretary, 

E. "W. Davis; collector, J. A. Sands; treasurer, H. M. McGill- 
vary; guide, H. F. George; chaplain, H. D. Fairbanks; warden, 
A. E. Dearborn ; sentry, F. A. Brietlow ; trustees, G. Schleuder, 
T. J. Abrahams, C. F. Cook. The officers for the year 1911 are 
as follows: Regent, R. L. DeGroot; vice regent, F. W. Green- 
man; orator, A. C. Page; past regent, F. E. Daigneau; secre- 
tary, J. M. Beck; treasurer, G. F. Baird; collector, J. E. Crip- 
pen; chaplain, H. D. Fairbanks; guide, Charles Mady; warder, 

F. G. Page; sentry, F. B. Davison. Since the organization of 
Austin Council there has been but one death claim paid, on the 
death of a local member. Mayor George F. Sutton, at the time 
of his death, was a member of the Royal Arcanum, and his widow 
was paid the death benefit. The Royal Arcanum is a fraternal 
insurance order, organized in Boston, ^lass., June 23, 1S77, 
and has been successful and economical in its inanagcineiit dur- 
ing the thirty-four years of its existence 

Cedar Camp, No. 205, Royal Neighbors of America, Avas or- 
oanized October 2.'). 189.'). witli a good iiienibcrsliip. :\rrs. Alma 


Kessler Avas the first oracle and Mrs. Flora E. Cota the' first re- 
corder. They were assisted by a band of loyal workers. The 
lodge membership has grown to nearly 200, and the present 
officers are: Oracle, Mrs. Mattie Fairbanks; vice oracle, Mrs. 
Libbie Aultfather; past oracle, Mrs. Lania Dawes; chancellor, 
Mrs. Carrie "Wright; recorder, Mrs. Tracy Young; receiver, Mrs. 
Ida Wyatt; marshal, Mrs. Mabel Boyd; assistant marshal, Mrs. 
Lillian Peterson ; inner sentinel, Mrs. Mary Horrobin ; outer sen- 
tinel, Mrs. Ella Mayland; managers, Mrs. Jessie Ward, Mrs. 
Ellen Brown and Mrs. Maud Cutter. 

Austin Tent, No. 16, Knights of the Maccabees, received its 
charter May 23, 1893. The fi.rst oflfieers were: Commander, E. 
C. Kinney; record keeper, G. M. Merriman; finance keeper, P. 
Goodwin. The present officers are: Commander, A. E. Hilker; 
record and finance keeper, J. "W. Gebhart. 

Austin Council 53, Modern Samaritans, was organized several 
years ago and the present officers are: Good Samaritan, F. H. 
Mayer ; past, ~W. J. Bell ; vice, Sallie E. Hill ; high priestess, Mrs. 
R. Peterson ; financial scribe, Peter Capretz ; treasurer, John Ur- 
batch ; C. M., Carl Johnson ; J. M., Roy Pace ; centurian, Mrs. 
Carl Johnson; Avatchraan, John Jensen; medical examiner, Dr. 
C. P. Lewis. 

Austin Homestead, No. 443, Brotherhood of American Yeo- 
n*en, has some 260 members. The officers are: Honorable fore- 
man, L. H. Gran ; master of ceremonies, Carrie Wright ; cori'e- 
spondent, A. L. Lickteig ; master of accounts, Mattie Fairbanks ; 
chaplain, Mary NeAvcomb. 


The Scandinavian and Teutonic element in Austin is repre- 
sented by three societies: Als Lodge, No. Ill, Danish Brother- 
hood; Hamar Lodge, No. 84, Sons of NorAvay, and the Harmonia 
Germania Society. 


The Carpenters' Union in Austin has been in existence for 
some time, and is of much mutual benefit to its members. 


The Austin Driving Association was organized February 26, 
1909. The first officers were: Geo. Sutton, president; H. W. 
Hurlbut, treasurer, and A. C. Page, secretary. Shortly after its 
organization, tlie president, Mr. Sutton, was taken sick and went 
to a sanitarium for treatment. E. D. Feeny Avas elected vice 
president and acted as executive officer during that year's race 
meet. The association has given tAvo very successful summer 


race meetings during the month of June, 1909 and 1910. They 
are planning their race meet for the current season for July 3, 
4 and 5. The present officers are as follows: 0. J. Simmons, 
president; M. F. Leffingwell, vice president; H. W. Hurlbut, 
treasurer; A. C. Page, secretary. 


Advantages of the City Written by Rev. CD. Belden — Religious 
Activities by Robert L. Moore — Austin Clubs by Miss Jennie 
G. Keith — St. Olav Hospital and Training School — Austin 
Schools by Prof. George A. Franklin — Austin Hotels. 

Austin, the Pearl City of southern Minnesota and the county 
seat of Mower county, is located in one of the most attractive 
and fertile portions of the great Northwest. It has a population 
of 6,960, according to the United States 1910 census, and it is 
large enough to enjoy all the advantages and improvements 
found in much larger centers. Mower county has steadily in- 
creased in population during all the migrations and changes of 
the past decades, as each succeeding census has shown. Today 
we have 22,640 within our county borders. From the early pio- 
neer days this city has been on the great highway of travel and 
has attracted the best class of residents by her pre-eminent 

Sixty years ago there were two streams of travel coming into 
this section. One was from the east by way of Chatfield, where 
a land office had been established, and the other came in from 
the southeast following up the banks of the Cedar river and con- 
tinuing on in the old territorial road to St. Paul. Austin was 
on this latter route. In the early settlement of Mower county 
the county seat was established on the east end at Frankford, 
but the Cedar valley soon gathered a larger immigration and 
the county seat was changed to Austin. The old stage route 
from Dubuque to St. Paul passed through Austin and the outer 
world soon discovered that this was a vcrital)le garden spot. 
Here were timber, the purest of water, the Ijrightcst of sunshine, 
the healthiest of climate, the most fertile of soil. Tln' Cedar 
river flowing thrcmgh the city furnished abundant water i)Ower 
for saw mill and grist mill .md .\nstin soon came into its deserved 


The pioneer problems of 1854 were very different from what 
are known today. Then the railroads were slow in extending 
west and they waited until the settlers had pushed ahead and 
had made improvements and established centers. Today the 
railroads reach out hundreds of miles into uninhabited regions 
and carry the first settlers to their locations and furnish them 
with transportation and abundant communication with the out- 
side world. It was not so with the pioneers of this locality who 
waited for years for the railroad while they hauled their grain 
a hundred miles to the Father of Waters. In 1859 there was not 
a mile of railroad in Minnesota and the nearest railroad point 
was Dubuque. But shut in as were the pioneers so largely, they 
were thrown together in an intimacy and equality which the so- 
cial sets of the later years never know of. Thrown upon their 
own resources and with everything new and unplanned, they were 
really the foundation builders and we today enjoy a substantial 
superstructure. The first settlers in this locality were largely of 
sturdy native American stock with a valuable addition of thrifty 
emigrants from northern Ei;rope. They brought high ideals in 
education, morals and home life and their influence is a posi- 
tive factor for good today. 

The city of Austin is located on both sides of the Cedar river. 
It is surrounded by a finely improved and productive prairie- 
country in all directions. From the days of Austin Nichols, who 
came here in 1853 and from whom the city was named, and of 
Chaimeey Leverich, who bought out his claim in 1854. there 
has been a healthy, persistent growth. Its location, about a hun- 
dred miles from Minneapolis, La Crosse and other large shipping 
points, gives it a territory largely its own. It is an industrial 
and railroad center of prominence. The first railroad to enter 
here was in 1867 and today we have five lines of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul road coming here, and we are on the 
direct line of the Great Western between Minneapolis and Omaha. 
Our shipping facilities are superior. The division point of the 
Milwaukee road and one of its car shops are here and they have 
an Austin payroll at present of $55,000 each month. 

Austin is pre-eminently a city of homes. A larger propor- 
tion of the residents own their own in most cases. The resi- 
dences are the pride and joy of the city, many of them built with 
the latest improvements and with attractive architectural ideas. 
The Austin Civic Improvement League is helpful in keeping the 
general appearance of the city neat and attractive. Two very 
pretty parks give the people ample chance for convenient outing. 
Lafayette i)ark lies at the foot of Main street where the Cedar 
is bridged. Central park is adjacent to the city water plant on 
Water strei't. 


The schools of Austin are of the highest efficiency. The pub- 
lic schools are provided with the large central high school build- 
ing and also five up-to-date grade ward schoolhouses. The year 
of 1910-1911 required a total force of thirty-eight teachers, with 
special work, domestic science, manual training, music, normal 
department, drawing and gymnastics. The graduating class of 
1911 consists of thirty-one members. In addition the St. Augus- 
tine's parish has established the Columbus parochial school with 
eight departments, all of them in grade work. The Southern 
Minnesota Normal College, founded in 1897, is located here and 
has a yearly enrollment of over 1,000 pupils from all the north- 
western states. In this connection we mention the splendid li- 
brary facilities of the city. In addition to the fine school and 
private libraries we have a public library, the building for which 
was provided by Andrew Carnegie. This building was completed 
in April, 1904. There are about 7,000 volumes at present. The 
nucleus of this library was a gift of 3,500 volumes from the 
Austin Floral Club, which was organized in March, 1869, to 
promote taste and skill in horticulture and to establish a circu- 
lating library. Austin is a city of churches. There are eleven 
fine church buildings and the clergymen rank high in preaching 
ability and in personal worth and influence. Fifteen of the prin- 
cipal denominations are well represented in the city. 

Austin is a prominent business city and commercial center. 
Its wholesale and retail trade covers twenty-two blocks of our 
streets. Every line of commercial trade is represented. Its hand- 
some business blocks fronting upon its brick paved streets and 
its enduring cement sidewalks are a mark of enterprise and 
thrift that attract all visitors. In the way of manufactures we 
excel. Roller mills, tow mills, plow and harrow works, cement 
tile factories, immense Farmers' Brick and Tile plant, weed ex- 
terminator plant, the second packing house in size in Minnesota, 
Austin greenhouses, marble and granite works, steel culvert fac- 
tory, machine shops, foundries, carriage building are among our 
prominent industries. "We have two telephone systems connect- 
ing with all the surrounding country and bringing us in touch 
also with the large centers. A city hospital shows advanced serv- 
ice for the afflicted. 

Although Austin is essentially a liomo town, tliere is fine hotel 
service here for the traveling public and the four loading hotels, 
the Fox. the Grand, the Elk and tlie Railway, make this city an 
attractive stopping place sought by all who can make it con- 
venient. In connection with the business interests we mention 
the three national l)anks. whose total deposits in March. 1911, 
were $3,072,120.81. and a total capital and surplus of $625,729.71. 
The Austin Commercial Club, the successor of the Board of 


Trade, organized in 1874 and reorganized in December, 1903, is 
an active body looking after the development and growth of the 

One of the commanding buildings of the city is the fine county 
courthouse, occupying a w^hole square on Main street. It Avas 
occupied in March, 1884, and is the just pride of the county. A 
new federal building for the postoffice and other government 
officials was commenced in the fall of 1910 and will be completed 
at the close of 1911. It is 50x65 feet and will cost $50,000. Plans 
are also accepted for a new city hall to cost $40,000. 

Austin feels proud of its military company. Back in the war 
of '61- '65 this community sent its full quota to the front and 
the soldierly spirit has never Avaned. Company G, Second Minne- 
sota National Guard, was organized by Capt. James S. Ander- 
son in September, 1882. An appropriation from the state legis- 
lature in April, 1911, gives the company $10,000 for an armory 
here and the city will add to this to make a suitable permanent 
drill hall for them. 

Austin has one of the most successful municipal water, elec- 
tric light and power plants in the United States. Its low rate 
for electric power has made it famous. The city owns and con- 
trols its own plant. Previous to about 1885, Austin's water 
supply Avas AvhoUy from pri\^ate wells and its fire protection was 
from cisterns. With the growth of population the demand was 
for modern Avater supply. A 132-foot Avell Avas put doAvn and 
Smedley & Co., of Dubuque, put in the first pumps, tAvo of them, 
each with a million-gallon daily capacity. John M. Greenman 
Avas the first superintendent. From this beginning other and 
deeper wells were sunk later as the demand increased and in 
1910 a more ample supply of water Avas obtained by the pur- 
chase of the famous Sargent's springs east of the city with a 
flowage of 1,300,000 gallons of purest water daily. This water 
Avas piped into the city in the summer of 1911. It comes wholly 
by gravity to the reservoir at the power plant. The Avater mains 
Avhich at first covered only our principal business section noAV 
run to all parts of the residence portion. 

The city municipal electric and poAver plant Avas established 
in 1900, when the city bought out a private concern for the sum 
of $16,000. The Pierce Brothers put in the original plant in 
April, 1889. This furnished only the stores at first AA^th light, 
but later the city made contracts for street lighting and the use 
of electric lighting was extended to residences. The city rebuilt 
the plant when it bought it in 1900 and in 1903 the entire man- 
agement was placed in the hands of a board of water, electric, 
gas and poAvor commission. The plant has been steadily devel- 
oped until it had iu May, 1911, a 750-horsepoAver dynamo sys- 


tern, supplying lights to 940 different consumers, power to fifty 
users and light for 121 arc street lights, besides seventy-five 
smaller street lamps. It is a fact that the Austin municipal plant 
furnishes cheaper power and light to consumers than any other 
successful electric plant in this country. The present members 
of the water and electric board are : John L. Gulden, president ; 
Mayor A. S. Campbell, J. D. Sheedy, Al. M. Smith and C. A. 
Pooler; superintendent, "William Todd. Austin lias an efficient 
fire department and excellent fire protection. 

The streets of Austin are Avorthy of mention. There are many 
miles of cement sidewalks wnth many bovilevards, which give a 
substantial appearance. In the summer of 1906 the main business 
portion of the city along Main street and adjacent blocks was 
paved with vitreous brick and in the following summer ten blocks 
were paved from Main street to the Milwaukee station, making 
it possible to reach all the business poi-tions by it. This makes 
Austin one of the best paved cities of its size in the Northwest. 

The city has kept pace with its growing population and the 
improvements of the day, and the resident here finds every con- 
venience afforded much larger cities. The Austin Gas Company 
is a private corporation, whose service adds to the comforts of 
the home, and with annual Chautauqua in summer and lecture 
and concert courses in the winter, with churches and schools and 
library of the highest merit, with ample water supply and ex- 
tensive sewerage, with the best of electric light and power and 
in the midst of a prosperous farming commimity, located 
near the height of land in southern ]Minnesota and with a cli- 
mate unexcelled for its many healthful conditions, Austin knows 
the reason why during business depression and prosperity she 
has maintained a steady and permanent growth. 


A^^stin has excellent fire protection and a well-equipped fire 
department. Hose Company No. 1 has its house at the corner of 
Chatham and Maple street and Hose Company No. 2 has its house 
at the foot of Bridge street. There are also companies at the 
Plormel plant and at the ]Milwaukee yards. Plans are under way 
for the building of a combination city hall fire house and armory 
at the corner of Chatham and Maple streets. The state has ap- 
propriated $10,000 for the building of an armory, and plans have 
been drawn for a combination l)uilding. to be erected at a cost 
of some .$42,000. 

The fire department, whidi is a volunteer one. is organized as 
follows: Fire warden. Xcls 1'. .Iciis.'ii ; liosc cart No. 1. fore- 
man, Frank E. J. Christie; jissistaiit. .1. .1. Kugg: liydrantmen, 


Leonard Hall and Archie Moreland; pipemen, George Fitzthuvn 
and James Anker; steward and treasiirer, Edward H. Elward; 
secretary, Louis Duclos. Hose Comany No. 2: Foreman, M. J. 
.Mayer; assistant foreman, George Umhoefer; hydrantmen, C. W. 
MeNally and J. Mayer, Jr. ; nozzlemen, Frank Hummel, Alvin 
Setterloff, D. J. Sheehan ; secretary, J. H. Mayer; treasurer, Frank 
jMayer; steward. J. Mayer, Jr. 

The Austin Volunteer Hook, Ladder and Bucket Company was 
organized March 11, 1870. The first officers elected were: Presi- 
dent, W. I. Brown ; foreman, Capt. H. J. Gilham ; first assistant, 
J. D. Jennings; second assistant, H. L. Burgess; secretary, A. M. 
Hutchinson; treasurer, George H. Litchfield. On April 27 No. 
2 of the east side was organized. In Septemher, 1895, the city 
hired its first team and driver, Oscar Hill securing the position. 
Among those who in the past have assisted in fire department af- 
fairs in some official capacity may be mentioned : A. J. Phelps, 
H. B. Hall, D. B. Smith, Tom Eiley, John Walsh, C. A. Pooler. 
C. Bieseker, Tom Dugan, Jesse Makepiece (the first chief of the 
Austin fire department), E. J. Ames, Henry Trenary, John Gul- 
den, Edward Elwood, Tom Mann, Mile Mhyre, Nels Jensen, Frank 
Eeynolds and many others. 


Austin -was a village of 400 people before a move was made t.p 
have a place to lay its departed. The dead were laid away in the 
vacant lots of the platted city. The body of Chauncey Leverieh, 
who was murdered, was buried near where the Swen Anderson 
building stands on Chatham street. On the banks of the Cedar 
near the South Bridge the bones of Don and Jack Fleming molded. 
They came here from New England for their health, as they were 
both suffering with consumption. It was not until 1862 that a 
move was made to secure a cemetery. A few of the ladies of the 
city got talking about the needs of the city and a meeting was 
called February ], 1862, at the home of J. L. Davidson for the pur- 
pose of organizing a society for the purchase of suitable lauds 
for a burial ground. At that first meeting Mi's. J. L. Davidson 
was elected president and Mrs. Ormanzo Allen secretary. 

The name adopted for the society was "The Mite Society and 
Cemetery Association" and the meetings were to be held every 
tv.'o weeks at the homes of the members in alphabetical order. 
Each member was to pay ten cents at each meeting. The at- 
tendance at these meetings was between eighty and 100, for there 
was little doing in the pioneer village in those days. 

Th*^ first regular meeting was held at the home of ]\lrs. J. L. 
Clnrlc. Here it was voted to have the men buv the land and the 


Mitt; society promised to build the feuee. A subscription paper 
was passed among the business men and twenty agreed to take 
lots at $5 each. On March 15, 1862, the men met and organized 
the cemetery association. Solomon Snow was chairman of the 
meeting and Ormanzo Allen secretary. The following trustees 
were elected: For one year, L. N. Griffith and Ormanzo Allen; 
for two years, John S. Lacy and Oliver Somcrs; for three years, 
Solomon Snow. A committee had been sent out to secure land 
and on the suggestion of the Mite society looked over the Baudler 
farm. The committee found the land suitable evidently, for it 
purchased five acres at a cost of $100. D. B. Johnson surveyed 
the laud, laying it off in lots twenty feet square, and Squire 
Giifnth made a map. The $100 was raised by twenty men, each 
of wiiom bought a lot at the cost of $5. 

The story of the cleaning up of the grounds l)y the ladies, as- 
sisted by the men, is told elsewhere by Mrs. L. A. Sherwood. ]\Irs. 
Sherwood says that the first body buried in the cemetery was 
that of Katie, the eight-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. L. 
Clark. The little girl died of diphtheria and Mrs. Sherwood as- 
sisted in the care of the little girl. That was the first case of diph- 
theria that had appeared in the little village of Austin. Having 
bought the land and laid it out as a place to bury the dead, the 
cemetery seems to have received but little attention, each lot 
owner being supposed to care for his own lot. In 1895 the Oak- 
wood Cemetery Association bought 160 acres of land of the Adler 
farm adjoining the cemetery. They sold about thirty acres lying 
east of the river to D. B. Smith. D. H. Stimson was one of the 
prime movers in this purchase. Anton Friedrich was elected svi- 
perintendent of the cemetery and has been in charge from that 
day to this. The cemetery was graded, the imsightly grave 
mounds all being leveled, flower gardens were laid out and each 
year saw the place still further beautified. Now it is one of the 
most beautiful resting places for the dead in the state. On March 
7, 1904, the trustees were authorized to erect a chapel and vault, 
not to exceed the sum of .$5,000, and this beautiful Imilding was 
dedicated in the fall of the same year. William Baudler had 
opened up a private cemetery on the northern line of his farm 
adjacent to the Oakwood cemetery and the lot owners of this 
cemetery wanted those lots taken in as a part of beautiful Oak- 
wood. This petition Avas presented by Mrs. Hiram Smith at a 
meeting held November 12, 1904. She stated that $430 had been 
subscribed and guaranteed that $70 moi'e would be raised, mak- 
ing the amount $500 for the purchase of the unsold lots in the 
Baudler cemetery. On December 3, 1904, a meeting of the ceme- 
tery a.ssociation was licld to consider the proposition. At that 
meeting the Baudlci- cciiKtcry lot owners were ready to pay $500 


to the Oakwood cemetery to secure possession of the Baudler lots 
so that the two cemeteries might be united. The board of trus- 
tees offered to take over the Baudler cemetery, lots, alleys, streets, 
etc., on the payment of $2,000. N. F. Banfield said he would be 
responsible for the amount and the proposition was accepted. 
Soon after the old fence was torn down, both cemeteries were 
made one, the Baudler cemetery being graded and beautified to 
conform with Oakwood. On August 23, 1905, the cemetery asso- 
ciation purchased four rods of land adjoining the old Baudler 
cemetery on the east, paying for it $75. On March 2, 1906, Mc- 
Intyre Post G. A. R. exchanged their old lot for a lot in the cen- 
ter of Section 3 of the new cemetery and the bodies of the dead 
heroes were removed to their new sleeping place. On this lot a 
beautiful soldiers' monument was erected and dedicated in 1907. 


(By Robert L. ^Nloore.) 

AVhile Austin is on seven railroad divisions, it is also on fif- 
teen divisions of the King's highway, all having one grand termi- 
nal point. These are the divisions : Roman Catholic, Episcopal, 
Lutheran, Methodist, Congregational, Presbyterian, Baptist, Chris- 
tian, Jewish, Christian Scientist, Seventh Day Adventist, German 
Evangelical, Universalist, Children of the Dawn and Christadel- 
phian. Eleven of these denominations have church buildings, all 
practically free from debt. 

The many church spires like indices pointing heavenward sug- 
gest to the stranger that Austin is a city of churches. Approach- 
ing the city from any direction the first object to greet the eye 
is the cross of Christ in the skyline. The rays of the rising sun 
first rest upon it and the last dying rays of day are reflected by 
it. Austin is a religious city, but it is not a bigoted one. Sec- 
tarianism that has rent other communities has never been known 
here. No man disputes with another which is the direct route 
to heaven. Religious 4iberty is here enjoyed to the fullest. Aside 
from the distinctly church organizations, the club and social or- 
ganizations never consider church affiliation as a qualification for 

All the churches are liberally supported and well attended. 
The buildings are as a rule superior to church buildings in cities 
of the size of Austin. 

First Congregational Church. — Members of this denomination 
had their fii'st incotings in Austin in what was known as the 
"Headquarters," which stood on the corner where the Austin 
National Bank now stands, gathered there together by their first 
pastor. Rev. Stephen Cook, on July fi, 1857. There were fifteen 


cliarter members, as follows: J. L. Davidson, Mrs. II. A. David- 
son, Rev. Stephen Cook, Mrs. Jeunett Cook, J. N. Cook, Mrs. 
L. A. Cook, J. N. AVheat, J. S. Decker, Mrs. M. A. Decker, Oba- 
diah Smith, Mrs. M. A. Smith, Mrs. Amanda Adams, J. Baker, 
Miss E. Bennett. Rev. Cook served as pastor of the church for 
three years, resigning in May, 1860. His successor was Rev. Nel- 
son Cook, who held the pastorate from May ], 1860, to October, 
1860. He was, in turn, followed by Rev. Stephen Cook, who held 
services from October, 1860, until May, 1861. Next was Rev. 
C. C. Humphrey, May, 1861, until May, 1863. Following the last 
named Rev. W. S. Clark preached from May, 1863, to November, 

In March, 1864, Rev. W. J. Smith was called to Austin, dur- 
ing which year the Baptist church was completed, and an invita- 
tion was extended to the Congregationalists to worship there. 
The invitation was accepted and for two years both sects wor- 
shiped there. In November, 1864, Rev. Smith resigned the pas- 
torate and was succeeded in December by Rev. Alfred Morse, 
who continued until December, 1868. During his stay here or 
in the year 1866 the next place of worship was the "Brick School 
House" on the site where the Carnegie Library now stands. In 
October, 1868, the first building of this denomination was dedi- 
cated, it being built on the same site as the present building, the 
lot having been donated by J. L. Davidson some years before. 
Soon after its dedication Rev. Morse tendered his resignation and 
he and his beloved wife left for other fields of duty. His suc- 
cessor was Rev. E. M. Williams, December, 1868, until December, 
1870. Other ministers in close proximity were : Rev. J. T. 
Graves, from January, 1871, to January 1873, and Rev. Henry 
Ketcham, from June, 1873, to September, 1874. Rev. C. E. Wright 
eonmienced his labors Avith the church in December, 1874. He 
was a man of great personality and influence and his long stay 
of twenty-four years were fruitful ones to the church. Not only 
by the spiritual help were the people of this church benefited, 
but also by a new building, which was erected in 1892 and dedi- 
cated February 26, 1893. While the new edifice was being erected 
Sunday school services were held in the coui'troom of the Court- 
iiouse and devotional meetings in the Grand Army hall. The 
dedicatory hymn sung on the occasion was one of rare merit, 
being the same as was sung at the dedication of the old build- 
ing twenty-seven years l)efore and composed by ^Irs. Samuel 
;\[orris, wife of the former pastor. When the resignation of Mr. 
Wright was tendered, November, 1898, it was met with a feel- 
ing of deep regret, for those who had known him so long and 
to whom he had administered in their sorrow and cares were wont 
to say that in the loss of him the church had lost one of its most 


valuable assets. The other ministers after him were Rev. E. T. 
AYheeler, 1898 to 1902, and Eev. Arthur Dascumb, 1902 to 1904. 
The present pastor, Rev. F. E. Knopf, came to the church in 
September, 1905. He was born of German parents at Columbus, 
Ohio, 1858. But upon the death of his parents while he was yet 
seven years of age, he was brought up on a farm twenty-eight 
miles from Columbus, where in the district school he received his 
common school education. His desire to rise in the world, how- 
ever, did not keep him on a farm, for later he entered the Univer- 
sity of Wooster, Presbyterian College, where after a few years 
he completed the prescribed courses. After leaving the univer- 
sity he was elected superintendent of schools at Columbus Grove. 
Later he held the position of professor of Latin and Greek at the 
Tri-State Normal college, remaining with that institution for four 
years. In 1889 he was ordained minister and labored with the 
Congregational church at Elkhart, Ind. Since then he has held 
pulpits at Michigan City, Ind., Sabetha, Kans., and Cheyenne, 
Wyo., from which last named place he came to Austin. During 
his pastorate up to date one hundred members have been added 
to the church. In 1907 occurred the fiftieth anniversary of the 
church and many of the former pastors were present. The church 
has two of its members in missionary work, Arthur McBride, 
missionary teacher, stationed at Bombay, India, and Olive 
Vaughan at Hadfin, Turkey. The societies are few in number, 
being the Ladies' Aid, president, Mrs. E. H. Smith; vice-presi- 
dent, Mrs. Dr. M. J. Hardy ; secretary, Mrs. F. I. Crane ; treas- 
urer, j\Irs. Eunice Rice. The Sunday school is a very large one 
and is lead by Eansome Thompson as superintendent. The Y. P. 
S. C. E. was organized during Rev. Wright's pastorate and since 
then has grown to a very prominent organization. It first met 
at the home of Harlan Page, with Fanny Eastman as presi- 
dent. The present officers are : President, Helen Banfield ; vice- 
president, Leonard Decker; secretary, Josephine Catherwood; 
corresponding secretary, Alice Hayse; treasurer, Neil Cooke; 
pianist, Thekla Knopf. The Woman's Missionary Society was 
organized by ]\Irs. E. M. Morse, wife of the former pastor, who 
was president of the state missionary board, first president of the 
society here and also founder of the Floral Club of Austin. The 
present officers include Mrs. C. H. Decker as president; Mrs. 
IT. A. Avery, vice-president ; Mrs. John Rutherford, secretary, and 
Mrs. Arthur Cole, treasurer. The Boys' Junior Endeavor has at 
the head Harry Emery as superintendent. The church officers 
are: Deacons, O. W. Shaw, F. P. McBride. H. A. Avery, C. L. 
West, W. 0. Page, Jacob S. Decker. The latter and Mrs. J. S. 
Decker and llrs. Obadiah Smith were original charter members 
of tlic cliurcli and arc vet active mcnil)ers. The trustees of the 


C'luu-L'li include Mr. C. F. Cook, Dr. A. M. Lewis, Mr. A. L. Eber- 
hart, A. C. Page, J. E. Crippen, L. A. Sherman and II. L. Ban- 
field. The two latter are elerk and treasurei', respectively. 

St. Olaf Lutheran Church. The Lutheran church of Austin 
was organized by Kev. C. L. Clausen, October 28, 1867. The 
same pastor had preached the first sermon of this denomination 
at Austin about two years previous to that time. The first serv- 
ices were held at the home of Nels Johnson, with the following 
persons as charter members : Syver Olson and family, Peter Knud- 
son and family, Iver Nelson and family, Carl M. Bolnner, Nels 
Johnson and family, John Halverson, Jacob Johnson, Ole Jacob? 
son, Ole Mickleson and family, F. B. Frost and family, Nels Olson 
and family. On November 14, 1867, the second meeting was held 
at the home of Seymore Johnson, at which time by-laws were 
adopted and Carl M. Bolnner was elected secretary of the church. 
During the illness of Eev. Clausen in 1869 the devotional meet- 
ings were held in the courtroom of the Courthouse. On October 
5, 1870. a meeting was called together at the office of John Ir- 
gens. This was for the purpose of deciding on the name and the 
incorporation of the church and upon the advisability of pur- 
chasing the old Methodist Episcopal church. The name selected 
was the St. Olaf Evangelical Lutheran church of Austin. The 
old ]\Iethodist church was purchased and trustees chosen : J. S. 
Irgens, Carl M. Bolnner, O. J. Johnson, 0. H. Johnson, the two 
former being treasurer and secretary, respectively. On May 25, 
1870, Rev. Ostby commenced his labors with the church and all 
continued well during his pastorate. Resigning in November, 
]878. he was succeeded bj' Rev. Clausen, who continued serving 
with Svend Strand as assistant (appointed 1879) until January, 
1885, at which time he tendered his resignation. Rev. Ostby was 
recalled in May. 1885, owing to the severe illness of Rev. Clausen, 
and remained with the church until the arrival of Rev. 0. Glasoe, 
December, 1889. who held the pastorate until September, 1891. 
Next to succeed him was the Rev. E. T. Rogne, who came in 
]March, 1892. During his labors with the church the congrega- 
tion increased so that it was deemed necessary to erect a new 
building. Subscriptions being secured the new (present) build- 
ing, costing $16,000, was commenced in the early part of 1895 
and dedicated in 1896 by Rt. Rev. G. Iloyme. On the occasion 
all the former pastors were present, excepting Rev. Clausen, who 
had previousl.v passed to his eternal reward. Rev. Rogne resigned 
in the fall of 1898 and was succeeded by Rev. J. C. Roseland. 
who entered upon his duties in February, 1899, and served eight 
years until the fall of 1907. During Rev. Roseland 's work with 
the church the Hayfield church services, which liad been in charge 
of the former pastors, was discontinued. He introduced the F]ng- 


lisli language into the services of this church, which resvilted in 
holding six English conducted services and tvi'o of Scandinavian 
for the month. Kev. Koseland went from Austin to Chicago and 
a call having been issued to Kev. J. A. E. Naess, the present pas- 
tor, he came in December, 1907. Mr. Naess is a young man of 
about thirty-nine years of age, alert and ready to fulfill the needs 
of his parish. Born on a farm in Iowa county, Wisconsin, he 
learned early the labors of life. He received his grammar school 
education in the town of Boscobel, Wis., from Avhich place he 
graduated and entered the St. Olaf college at Northfield, Minn. 
Upon the completion of prescribed courses at that institution in 
1895, he affiliated himself Avith the United Church seminary of 
Minneapolis. On June 12, 1898, he was ordained a minister and 
shortly afterward went back to Boscobel and served the parish 
there for four years. Resigning that position, he next went to 
Albert Lea, Minn., from whence he removed to Austin. In the 
course of construction now is an addition to the church Avhich 
Avhen completed will nearly double the seating capacity of the 
church, and aside from that is to be the installation of a pipe 
organ which will cost $2,000. Throughout the history of thjs 
denomination the growth has been of a steady nature and prog- 
ress marks the path of years gone by. At this time the member- 
ship shows the enrollment of 750 souls. The church has no par- 
sonage, the present minister having purchased his own home. The 
societies of the church are as follows: Ladies Aid, president, 
Mrs. C. I. Johnson ; vice-president, Mrs. W. R. Earle ; secretary, 
Mrs. Carl Johnson ; treasurer, Mrs. W. E. Brown. Young People's 
League, president, Harry Rassmussen ; vice-president, Erwin John- 
son ; secretary, Allen Peterson ; treasurer, Minnie Johnson. Men's 
Society Social and Literary, president, George E. Anderson ; vice- 
president, Peter Hanson; secretary, Carl Johnson. The Sunday 
school has an attendance of 190 and the superintendent is W. M. 

Seven Day Adventist. The organization of this sect was 
began in Austin, September 22, 1889, with Elder A. Kinsman as 
presiding officer and eleven members. Mrs. Hattie E. Varco was 
elected clerk and their first meetings Avere held at the home of 
A. N. Kinsman. During the year 1890, on September 14, a sub- 
scription was taken with which to erect a place of worship. The 
church became an organization in October of that year and A. N. 
Kinsman, M. E. Varco and H. Hanson were elected trustees. It 
then became a part of the Northern Union Conference. During 
the summer of 1891 a church was built and on December 20 of 
that year it was dedicated by Elder A. J. Breed, president of 
the conference. Unlike other churches, this one instead of sup- 
porting a resident pastor bonds every effort and contributes to 

IIISTOIJY OF -M()\VK1{ CorXTV j;n;j 

the maintenance of such in the foreign fields. Among the elders pre- 
siding since the organization in Austin are as follows : A. N. Kins- 
man, 1889 until 1896; Elder H. Hanson, January 10, 1896, until 
January 18, 1899; Elder Rien, March. 1899, until March, 1900; 
Elder A. N. Kinsman, 1900 until 1901; J. Jaeobson was elected 
January, 1901, and continued as leader until January 13, 1907. 
Succeeding him was Mr. A. N. Kinsman, who still continues to 
serve. The present officers are': Mrs. A. Hobson, clerk; Charles 
Rosenthal, deacon and treasurer; Mrs. Hattie Vareo, secretary 
of mission work. The church has fifty souls. 

Christ Church, Protestant Episcopal. The first services of this 
church can be said to have had their beginning in the year 1862, 
at which time Bishop Whipple made Austin a stopping place in 
which to hold services. For three years or until 1865 occasional 
services were held by this good bishop, during which time the 
children of E. W. Ford and James L. Clark were baptized by him. 
Other occasional preachers during that period were Rev. Messrs. 
Woodard, Burleson and Johnson. However, in October, 1865, the 
Rev. E. Steele Peake, a pioneer missionary, was stationed at Aus- 
tin and gathered around him a flock of worshippers to whom he 
preached the gospel in a portion of the Baptist church. During 
the year 1886 Christ's church parish Avas organized as a branch 
of the diocese of Minnesota, Rev. Peake as rector electing the 
vestry, J. M. Vandergrift and James Clark as warders, with I. M. 
Lewis, Andrew Grinnel, Samuel Dodge, D. L. Merrell, D. P. Bos- 
worth and S. F. Austin as members. Rev. Peake remained until 
June 24, 1866, at which time he went to California. Succeeding 
him, however, on January 30, 1867, was Rev. L. W. Gibson, Avho 
was appointed to the Austin parish by Bishop "Whipple. Some 
time in i\larch of that same year land Avas purchased for church 
property and during the following ]May a church 22x26 was 
erected at a cost of $800. In November, 1867, the southern eon- 
vocation met at Austin and the cornerstone was laid by Bishop 
Whipple. The first services were held in the new church on 
Thanksgiving day, 1868. In 1869 Rev. Gibson resigned and his 
successor the following year Avas Rev. Thomas E. Dickey, who 
retained the position until February, 1872. During the month of 
April, that year. Rev. Jerome I. Townsend became the resident 
pastor and during his rectorship the church was consecrated by 
the Rt. Rev. Henry Ben.i'amin Whipple, D. D. Resigning his posi- 
tion on November 30, 1875, Rev. ToAvnscnd Avas succeeded by Rob- 
ert Reed Goudy, Avho continued the pastorate for one year, resign- 
ing June, 1877. The next rector Avas Rev. John Anketell, coming 
to Austin April, 1878, and resigning his post February, 1880. The 
church was then without a rector, holding occasional services un- 
til the coming of Rev. C. H. Beaubien, Jr.. in February, 1882, who 


remained with the parish until 1883. After that time and up 
until the year 1886 the church was again without a pastor, and 
held occasional services until the coming of the Rev. Peabody in 
September of that year. Other rectors who followed in succes- 
sion were: Rev. Edwin Johnson, July, 1888, until October, 1889; 
Rev. AVellington McVetter, January, 1890, until January, 1892; 
Rev. Charles Pullen. June. 1892, until August. 3896; Rev. J. S. 
AV. Somorville. November, 1896, imtil November, 1904; Rev. J. S. 
Budlong. April. 1905, until September, 1909. During the rector- 
ship of the last named the church building was remodeled and 
rectory enlarged. In .November, 1909, Rev. C. "\V. Holmes was 
appointed to the Austin parish. He was born at Seneca, Kaus., 
1867, of English parentage. Later, at the age of twelve, he re- 
moved to Racine. Wis., where ho attended the College Grammar 
school. At the age of twenty he graduated from that institu- 
tion and went out into commercial work. In the year 1906 he 
entered the Seabury Theological school at Faribault and was or- 
dained deacon in 1907 and priest, December, 1908. Mr. Holmes 
is a man much liked by his congregation, one who is firm in his 
purpose of advancing the cause to which he is now engaged, and 
a man greatly interested in the welfare of the community. Un- 
der his rectorship the church has greatly increased in membership, 
having now 200 communicants. The present officers are: Sen- 
ior warden, C. F. Lewis; .junior warden, F. L. "Williams; E. S. 
Selby, secretary: J. W. Hare, treasurer. The societies of the 
church are: Woman's Guild, Mrs. J. W. Hare, president; Mrs. 
Cassius Terry, vice-president; Mrs. T. L. Williams, secretary; 
IMrs. W. L. Van Camp, trea.surer. Woman's Auxiliary, Mrs. Ar- 
nold Johnson, president ; Mrs. C. W. Holmes, vice-president ; Mrs. 
F. L. Williams, secretary and treasurer. St. Agnes Guild, presi- 
dent. Edna Clegget; vice-president. Lulu ]\Ieyers; secretary and 
treasurer, Dorijie Abrahams. Junior Aiixiliary, Mrs. C. W. 
Holmes, directorist; president, Edna Eastman; secretary, Dorris 
Gregson; treasurer, Dorothy p]astman. Rev. Holmes is superin- 
tendent of the Sunday school and has for officers : Secretary, 
Inez Eastman : treasurer, Lulu ]\leycrs. 

Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Church, U. A. C. In Septem- 
ber, 1907. Rev. C. A. Affeldt. after locating four German Lutheran 
families northwest of Austin and, being urged to look after spii-- 
itual welfare of German Lutheran students attending the South- 
ern Minnesota Normal college and such of his Waltham charge 
as lived in Austin permanently and temporarily, began to conduct 
services in the Adventist's church building, corner College and 
Kenwood aveinie. Tliese services lieing appreciat<'d by many, new 
families arriving and an organization being thought expedient, 
a meeting was held at the home of Julius ]\Iaas, 711 Park avenue, 


and a previously drawii-up constitution was adopted. This was 
September 18, 1908, at 10 p. m. Present were Julius Maas, Jacob 
TIartje, Adolf Ott, Gustav Klingfuss, H. Klingfuss, Franz Jung- 
l)lut, Adolf Gruenwald, August Kranz, L. Kalinsky, Willie Mar- 
tin, J. W. Gruenwaldt. At present services are conducted every 
two weeks at the Adventist's church. The present membership 
is twelve voting members, fifty-one souls and thirty-one commu- 
nicants. Preliminary measures have been taken towards estab- 
lishing its own pastorate with the aid of the missionary board 
of the Minnesota and Dakota district of the Missouri Synod. The 
officers are: C. A. Aflfeldt, Waltham, Minn._, pastor; Franz Jung- 
lilut. Rose Creek. Minn., and Ide Louden, Austin, Minn., elders. 

The First Baptist Church. The First Baptist church of Aus- 
tin has a worthy history. It was organized in "Old Headquar- 
ters,"' January 31, 1858. Rev. Edward F. Gurney, a graduate 
of Granville college and of Rochester Theological seminary, was 
the first pastor. There were nine constituent members. The church 
was formally recognized by a council June 20, 1858. He labored 
without fixed salary for the first two years and then received $400 
a year. He preached in surrounding centers also. In the summer 
of 1861 a subscription of several hundred dollars was gathered 
for a meeting house of their own and the present site of the church 
property was purchased. Elder Gurney resigned in November, 
1861, on account of failing health. Rev. Hervey I. Parker, the 
second pastor, was with the church from February, 1862, until 
November, 1872, when he went to California. The church building 
project was revived by him and in January, 1863, a building com- 
mittee took hold of the work. The building, 28x40, was occupied 
for the first time in January, 1874, and was formally dedicated 
June 14, 1864. The Congregationalists occupied this house for 
a while on alternate Sundays. The church prospered under Elder 
Parker and there were 155 additions. Rev. C. T. Emerson was 
a faithful pastor for one year from October, 1873. Rev. C. D. 
Relden commenced an eight years' pastorate in November, 1874. 
resigning in 1882 to take charge of the county public school work. 
There were 119 additions under him and the church was very 
active in work in the surrounding country. Rev. "\Y. E. Stanley 
became pastor in October, 1882, remaining until January, 1891. At 
the twenty-fifth anniversary of the church held in 1883 it was re- 
jiorted that the church had received a total membership of 340, 
of whom 135 at that time remained. Rev. C. T. Hallowell became 
l)astor in ]\Iay, 1891, remaining two years. During his pastorate 
tlic mutter (if a new church edifice was agitated and the work was 
plaiuird, Tlie foundation of the present beautiful of wor- 
sliip, (17x75 and costing over .+17.000. was laid in the fall of 1893. 
Rev. F. C. AVhitncy comiuem-cd his ])astorate September 1, 1893. 


remaining until October, 1900, when he went to Eochester. The 
new church was dedicated February 26, 1895, and four months 
later the fine chapel built by the Oakland branch of the church 
was dedicated. There was a total of 282 additions during Eev. 
Whitney's pastorate. Rev. Frank L. Anderson became pastor in 
December, 1900, and gave the church four years of splendid serv- 
ice, resigning in February, 1905. Rev. R. E. Sayles Avas pastor 
from May, 1905, to October, 1907. A large accession of members 
came under him from the "W. A. Sunday tabernacle meetings. Rev. 
H. B. Ilazen became pastor in November, 1907, resigning March 1, 
1909. The semi-centennial of the church was held Januarj^ 31, 

1908. A total membership for the fifty years was reported as 
1,033, with a present membership of 420. Average pastorate over 
five and a half years. Rev. J. H. Carsteus was pastor from May 1, 

1909, until November 15, 1910. The present pastor, Rev. W. L. 
Riley, of Detroit, Mich., took up his work as pastor April 1, 1911. 
The First Baptist Church of Austin has a worthy record and has 
been one of the strong factors for righteousness in this whole 

St. Augustine's Church. In the year 1858 Rev. Father Pender- 
gast, of AYinona, came to Austin to conduct services in this vicin- 
ity. They were held at the residence of Aloysius Brown, in what 
is now the German hotel. After two- years of occasional services 
by Fatlier Pendergast, he Avas followed by Father George Keller, 
of Faribault. This reverend gentleman held services once every 
two months up until the fall of 1866. As a result of his laborious 
work in this vicinity, to Father Keller is due the honor of estab- 
lishing and putting on a firm basis the first congregation of St. 
Augustine's parish. Soon after the leave of this gentleman he 
was succeeded in 1866 by Father McDerraot, the first resident 
priest, who remained and worked with his parish until 1869. Dur- 
ing this time money for the erection of a church was solicited 
and three gentlemen of Austin, Messrs. Lewis, Yates and Fake 
(non-Catholics), generously donated a lot, comprising a whole city 
block. Then came Father C. Geuis, a French clergyman, who la- 
bored incessantly and with profit for the spiritual necessities of 
his little parish. He remained until the year 187-4 and was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Father Pavlin, who remained but one year. Father 
Arthur Hurley was next appointed priest of the Austin parish. 
He carried on his good work until the year 1882 and then Avent to 
Rosemound, near St. Paul. Father Genis returned during that 
year and immediately set to work building the present parsonage, 
but was unable to finish it. Following closely after the leave of 
the last named priest Avas the late Daniel 'Sullivan, to AA-hom Ave 
are indel)ted for the present structure. He Avas a much beloved 
priest ;uid to liiiii may be attributed many of the good Avorks 


accomplished in this vicinity. His death occurred in June. 1896. 
and was a great loss to the parish. In the year 1895, or the last 
year of Father 'Sullivan's pastorate, Kev. Father E. H. Devlin, 
the present pastor, came as a resident priest of Austin. He is of 
Irish descent and was born on a farm in Kenosha county, AViscon- 
sin. where he worked until the age of thirty years. He then went 
to St. Thomas College, where he completed the prescribed courses 
of that college. Upon graduating from St. Thomas he went to 
Eome and remained there more than three years. Upon his re- 
turn he held pastorate in New Richland five months and was then 
transferred to Austin. Father Devlin may be characterized as a 
man of great executive ability, educated in many branches, and a 
man firm in his purpose of elevating the cause of humanity. Dur- 
ing his pastorate the St. Augustine church, started by Father 
'Sullivan, was dedicated on Thanksgiving day, November i6, 
1896. This is a handsome red pressed brick building with trim- 
mings of red sandstone to match the substantial looking founda- 
tion. It has a frontage of seventy-seven feet and a depth of 169 
feet. Two towers stand out slightly from the main body of the 
church, the larger being 170 feet in height and the smaller, while 
not near as tall, is of no less pleasing architecture. Both are sur- 
mounted by a gilded cross ; thus they become the striking features 
of the facade of magnificent beauty. The arched doorways and 
the six granite columns which support them give the approach of 
the church a somewhat classic finish. On the cornerstone, which 
is a highly polished block of granite, is inscribed, "Deo et Sancto 
Augustino dictum. J. B. Cotter. Antistite. D. 'Sullivan, Rec- 
tore. A. D. MDCCCXCIII" ("To God and St. Augustine. J. B. 
Cotter, Bishop. D. O 'Sullivan, Rector"). But impressive as is 
the outside of the church, it is the interior that gives the pleasure 
to one who has any love for what is beautiful. The combined 
eifects of statuary and rich colors to be found therein is "as if 
Nature had fashioned this edifice and placed it here as a fitting 
place in which to worship her God." From the 250 families of 
which the congregation was composed upon the arrival of Father 
Devlin this number has been increased to 350 families, thus show- 
ing a steady growth of this parish. 

Not alone to the woi'k of the parish has this pastor's attention 
been turned, but through his efforts a magnificent school has been 
erected at a cost of $35,000. There the rich and poor alike may 
share the advantages of an education. This school is known as the 
Columbus school. It was started in the spring of 1908 and dedi- 
cated in the year 1909. The sisters, or teachers, are furnished by 
the Franciscan order, and none better are to be found anywhere. 
Children of all ages may be found here, as the school is graded 
from the primary to the second year high school. There are at 

258 inSTOIIY OF .MoWEIf l'()r^■TY 

present eight teachers and about 275 scholars enrolled, the school 
being a non-tuition one and supported by the parish. Father 
Devlin has also attained distinction in his profession, having been 
first appointed vicar general by Bishop Ileft'ron and later ap^ 
pointed bj' the Pope as Domestic Prelate of the People of the 

Perhaps one of the oldest yet still existing societies of the 
church is the Catholic Order of Foresters, founded in the early 
seventies, and ■which still continues to flourish under the leader- 
ship of J. M. Lindsay, who is present chief ranger. Next in line 
are the Knights of Columbus, T. M. Callihan, grand knight ; also 
the Catholic Total Abstinence Union, originally the "Father 
Mathew Total Abstinence Society," Avith present officers: Presi- 
dent, Lou O'Malley ; vice-i)residcnt, Fred Dugan ; secretary, Frank 

Then there are the women's societies, which take an important 
part in the welfare of the church. There is the Con-Fraternity of 
the Rosary ; Mrs. J. D. Sheedy, president. 

Then there is the Woman's Order of Foresters; Mrs. J. E. Mal- 
loy the presiding officer. Last but not least is the order of the 
unmarried women, the Sodality of the Sacred Heart; Elizabeth 
Kelly, president; Addie Kennan, secretary; Ella Sheedy, treas- 
urer. Among those prominently identified with the early history 
of the Roman Catholic church at Austin may be mentioned the 
following gentlemen : A. Brown, Thomas Gibson, William Ruther- 
ford, William Furlong, Jr., Cornelius Kenavan and W. I. Brown. 

McCabe Methodist Episcopal Church, -The Methodist move- 
ment ill tlie vicinity of Austin had its beginning in 1854, when 
Samuel Clayton and wife came to Mower county and settled in 
what is now Lansing township, on the big bend of the Red Cedar 
river, just above the present city of Austin. To their cabin early 
in 1855 came a Rev. W. E. Ilolbrook from more than 100 miles 
down the Red Cedar valley and preached the first Methodist ser- 
mon in I\Iower county. The first class was organized at this cabin, 
with R. Dobbin as leader, and P^lsie Dobbin, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel 
Chiytnii and Mr. and Mrs. N. G. Perry as members. The first 
(|n;irlcily meeting was held at this same cabin in June, 1855, and 
Hir \\rv. ^\y. Colctn/m, presiding elder, was present. The Rev. 
.Mr. Ilolbrook di'sci'vcs more than passing mention. .He was a man 
of loiii,'!! exterior and appearance but with a heart of gold. He 
had a rrooked nose and distorted mouth, and on making his first 
appearance in a locality was wont, lialf facetiously, half seriously, 
to remark thai il' sudi a crooked stick as he eonid be of any serv- 
ice he would be a very willing servant. 

Shortly afterward the Rev. Sylvester i1ieli)s organized what 
was known as the Cedar Mission within the [iresent limits of 

HlSTOJi'Y OF .M()\Vi:i,' COlNI ^' -^jl) 

Austin city. The first quarterly conference was held at the home 
of Silas Dutcher in the village of Austin, October 18, 1856. In 
the fall of 1857 came Moses Mapes, who had just been licensed to 
preach. These early services were held in the old Headquarters 
building, and also in the Lake building on Mill street, on the land 
now occupied by the H. C. Waldecker buildings. In December, 
1S57, under his pastorate the first movement was made toward 
securing church property in Avistin, and a committee was ap- 
l)ointed at that time to confer with the town authorities with 
reference to purchasing lots for a church and parsonage, l)ut it 
was not until May, 1861, that the lots were fully secured. 

In the spring of 1858 came a most interesting character in 
Kev. J. C. Dyer, who was known as "Father" Dyer. He had 
been a miner in "Wisconsin, and was a man of splendid physique 
and very strong. He became a circuit rider through this and 
Freeborn counties. He wore a dilapidated plug hat and rode a 
raw bone horse. He did not possess much of this world's goods, 
and L. N. Griffith, who was second postmaster of Austin, recalls 
giving Father Dyer stamps for his letters, as the reverend gentle- 
man never had anything to buy with. He conducted revival serv- 
ices at Cedar City and won all the inhabitants to the church except 
three or four. He also held a camp meeting, the first ever held 
in the county, on the land now used for Oakwood cemetery. A 
life story of this rough but noble soldier of the cross would be 
one of intense interest. In the state capitol at Cheyenne, Wyo., 
is the statue of this early circuit rider of Mower county, the statue 
being in memory of the work that this rough old crusader did 
among the mountaineers and miners of Wyoming. Father Dyer 
was on the circuit but a year. 

In 1859 Moses Mapes again returned, and in the fall of 1860 
came Rev. F. A. Conwell, with whom was associated Rev. George 
E. Strobridge. The latter remained but part of the year. In the 
fall of 1861 Rev. D. Tice became preacher in charge, with J. 
Lambert.son as assistant. In 1862 the circuit, which had embraced 
fourteen appointments, Avas divided, and Austin became a part of 
the Austin circuit. In the fall of 1863 S. T. Sterret became pastor, 
lie was followed in 1864 by William C. Shaw. In 1865 Austin 
was attached to the Lansing circuit, with W. II. Soule and S. N. 
Phelps as pastors. At this time the Cedar City circuit was organ- 
ized. In the fall of 1866 Austin was made a station, with Wayne 
Carver as pastor. 

The first Methodist meetings in Austin were held at the lionie 
of ^Irs. Chauncey Leverich. Other early Methodist services were 
held in the old Headquarters building and in a building on the 
corner of Mill and Chatham streets, both these l)uildings being 
siiared as meeting places with the Congregationalists and the Hap- 


tists. In 1861. under the Rev. Tire, the first flmreli was built. 
There were only twelve members of that early ehureh. and most 
of these were women. They purchased the land where the Luth- 
eran church now stands, and there erected their building. The 
preacher himself dug the rock from the river bed with a erow 
bar. A bell was put in the steeple, and its peal was the first that 
broke upon the air of Mower county in call to wor.ship. The 
church cost $1,400 in money, and much more in sacrifice. Soon 
after the completion of this building a revival was held, and many 
names added to the church rolls. A cabinet organ was purchased 
later, this being the first ever brought into iMower county. The 
church was in debt $300, but the people Avent ahead and built a 
parsonage, and it was not imtil 1876, ten years later, that the $300 
del)t could be paid. 

In 1868 came that unfortunate affair that nearly wrecked the 
church and retarded its progress many years. The pastor. A. J. 
Nelson, and some of the members conceived the plan of buying 
three lots on the southeast corner of Main and Water streets, and 
erecting a two-story building. The upper floor was to be used for 
an auditorium or church, and the lower floor was to be rented for 
stores, thus providing an income for the church. To carry out the 
plan the church already erected was mortgaged, and paid in on 
the lots which were to cost $3,000. No money could be raised 
for the building, and the previous indebtedness, with the failure of 
the scheme, cost the Methodists their church and parsonage. The 
St. Olaf Scandinavian church, which was organized in 1867, pur- 
chased the mortgaged church for $1,500, and the building was oc- 
cupied by the Lutherans until they were ready to build, at which 
time it was moved to the west part of the city. Rev. Nelson 
resigned in the fall of 1868 and was followed in the fall of 1869 
by J. M. Rogers, who only remained one year, and was succeeded 
by Rev. J. R. Creighton. The last named gentleman resigned in 
October, 1870. 

In. 1871, under A. B. Bishop, a new place of worship was se- 
cured. An excursion to Minneapolis netted the church a goodly 
ain'ount after paying all outstanding debts, and the old brick 
school house on the corner where the Carnegie library now stands 
Avas rented from December, 1871, to June, 1873. On the latter date 
the society bought the building for $1,500, making the last pay- 
ment JuTTO 6, 1883. In 1887 the building was sold back to the 

After the affairs of the church were practically straightened 
Rev. Bishop resigned his position here and for a long while the 
work of the church went on practically the same. Those who suc- 
ceeded the Rev. Bishop were as follows: Rev. Levi Hall, 1873 to 
1875; Rev. IT. J. Crist. 1S75 until 1877: Rev. A. Williams. 1877 to 


1879: Rev. Alfred Cresscy, 1879 to 1881; Rev. E. R. Lathrop, 1881 
until June of 1883, Avhen Rev. E. P. Robinson eame to fill the un- 
expired year. Rev. A. AV. Edwards came 1884 and remained until 
1887. In October of that year the Rev. S. II. Dewart came to 
Austin and under his pastorate, or the year 1888, the congregation 
dedicated a wooden church on the present site of the IMcCabe 
church at a cost of about $7,000. After his resignation in the year 
1890 the next succession of pastors were : Rev. S. L. Shumate for 
one-half year and Rev. George Cook for the balance of that year ; 
Rev. G. S. Briggs, 1891 to 1893 ; Rev. S. C. McAds, 1893 to 1896 ; 
Rev. F. H. Cone, 1896 to 1900; Rev. J. M. Brown, 1900 to 1904. 
Rev. G. W. Lutz commenced his labors with the church in October 
of 1904. He set to work building up the congregation of his 
church and during the great revival campaign, conducted by 
"Billy" Sunday, the noted CA'angelist, in the spring of 1906, many 
members Avere added to the church. In July of 1906 the old 
Avooden church, Avhich had done service for twenty years, was torn 
doAvn to make room for the present building. The foundation Avas 
started in September of that year and the work Avas in progress 
for tAvo years. The beautiful ncAV edifice Avas dedicated June 28, 
1908, the cost of the structure being about $40,000. The building 
is of the Roman style of architecture, Avith a Greek gable to the 
south and an approach of fourteen steps. It is 78x98 feet, sur- 
mounted by a beautiful art glass dome. The auditorium occupies 
the entire main floor, AAdth the exception of vestibule, choir loft, 
choir room and pastor's study. It Avill seat 800 people and has a 
gallery seating 400, making an entire seating capacity of 1,200. 
The building is practically fireproof, Avith nothing A\'hich could 
burn except the furniture, AvoodAvork and OA^erlying floor. The 
basement, which is finished in white brick, contains an assembly 
room seating 300, around Avhich are eleven class rooms. There are 
also laA'atories, cloak rooms, dining room, kitchen and boiler room. 
The fuel house is outside the church. 

Rev. Lutz remained AA-ith the church here until 1909, at Avhich 
time he moved to Minneapolis, and the Rev. J. F. Stout, of the St. 
Paul district, Avas called to serve the Austin congregation. He is a 
broad-minded man, of executive influence, firm in his purpose to 
administer to the Avants of his pulpit. Dr. Stout Avas born in the 
hamlet of Potter, Yates county, Ncav York, from Avhere at the age 
of five he moved into the state of loAva and attended the country 
schools. At the age of eighteen he entered NortliAvestern Uni- 
versity, at Avhich place he took both the preparatory and regular 
university courses, and graduated 1875. Upon leaving college he 
.ioined the Illinois conference and preached at a number of places, 
including Pittsfield, Springfield, Quiney, Danville and Blooming- 
ton. After the last named place he removed to Minnesota, 1887, 


aud served the Clinton Avenue Church, St. Paul, afterward the 
First Church of Minneapolis ; also at Mankato and Red Wing, and 
thence again to St. Paul, from which place he Avas called to Austin. 

The church continues to flourish and many societies are in 
prominence, the Woman's Home Missionar.y Society, the Foreign 
Missionary Society, Ladies' Aid, the Priscillas, the Young Men's 
Club, and Sunday school, of which last named Roy Furtney is 

Presbyterian Church. In 1867 Rev. H. A. Mayhew visited Aus- 
tin for the special purpose of looking up Presbyterians who had 
not connected themselves with any church organization. He col- 
lected a number together and preached to them at such times as he 
could procure a room. August 20, 1867, he, assisted by Rev. Shel- 
don Jackson, by authority of the Presbytery of Southern Minne- 
sota, organized the first Presbyterian church of Austin. On the 
20th of October, 1867, Rev. Mayhew organized the society into a 
business meeting, which elected the following board of trustees : 
Ira Jones, Lyman A. Sherwood, James C. Day, T. W. Woodard 
and Joseph G. "Warner. The board organized by electing Ira 
Jones chairman, L. A. Sherwood clerk and James C. Day treas- 
urer. The congregation authorized the trustees to purchase a lot 
and erect a suitable house of worship. This they did, and pur- 
chased property on the corner of North St. Paul street and West 
]\Iill street, and in the spring of 1868 erected the house of worship 
where June 11, 1868, the congregation met and elected George 
Johnston and Robert F. Rankin ruling elders. On the twenty- 
fourth of the same month the church edifice was dedicated to the 
services of God, the dedicatorial sermon being preached by Rev. 
Sheldon Jackson. At the close of the service $500 was raised by 
subscription to pay off the church debt. At that time the mem- 
bership numbered seventeen, with Rev. H. A. Mayhew as pastor. 
This building is now used by the Grand Ai'ray of the Republic. 
However, the Presbyterian cause grew dimmer and not until the 
fall of 1877 did it show much progress. In that year the Pres- 
bytery of AYinona revived the organization, changing the site to 
the Third ward, placing in charge Rev. D. P. Grosscup, who re- 
mained four years. During 1890 a building was erected there, 
and after a long effort was paid for. Following Rev. Grosscup 
was Rev. Llewellyn for two years. 1891 to 1893. In March. 1894, 
Rev. William Henry Hormel came to Austin and during his pas- 
torate the organization of the Central Presbyterian Church was 
projected, and January 24, 1895, the new organization was 
launched. ]\rcanwhile the Third ward church Avas closed and the 
mcml)ers invited to join the Central Presbyterian Church. After 
the starting of the neAV Baptist church by that denomination the 
old one framed in native oak was purchased and removed to the 


corner of West Water and North St. Paul streets. It was remod- 
eled and became the church home of the new organization. Mr. 
Ilormel ministered to this church continuallj^ until December, 
1900. During his term, of service the church grew rapidly and 
prSmised speedily to develop into a strong church. The next 
minister was Rev. Rhinehart, who began his labors February 1, 
1900, resigning November 1 of the same year. Mr. Rhinehart was 
succeeded by Rev. B. H. Kroeze, who served as stated supply 
from March 1, 1901, to January 1, 1903. After a vacancy of .three 
months, Rev. Arthur B. Miller became pastor April, 1903, and re- 
signed January 1, 1904. A vacancy of six months followed. July 
1, 1904, Rev. T. M. Cornelison began as pastor, resigning November 
1. 1905. 

The chiirch. weakened by vacancies and short pastorates, 
racked with dissensions, which naturally arise under such condi- 
tions, was illy prepared to endure another six months without a 
minister. It was a dreary outlook, when March 1, 1906, Rev. 
AVilliam E. Sloan, Ph. D., took charge. In seven months the or- 
ganization grew to a solid membei'ship of 205. In addition to the 
splendid growth a new house of worship was erected at a cost of 
.$15,000. Rev. Sloan resigned and was followed by Rev. J. C. 
Davis, who remained a time, and since his leaving the church has 
been without a pastor. The societies represented in the church are 
the "Woman's Missionary, Ladies' Aid, Help-a-Man Brotherhood, 
and the Sunday school. 

Christian Science. The birth of Christian Science in Austin 
Avas in the year 1889, when Mrs. Mary A. Engle, who was tlieu 
an invalid, hearing of its wonderful cures, procured a copy of its 
text-book. Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures, by 
]\Iary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian 
Science. She was soon healed of all her ailments and began to 
hold regular services in her own home with only a few members 
of the family for audience. This was continued for three years, 
with two or three others becoming interested. In the spring of 
1893 interest had grown sufficiently to enable this little band to 
form a class for Christian Science teaching by one of ]\Irs. Eddy's 
loyal students. These students organized a Christian Science 
society and held regular services in the Engle home until the 
year 1896, when the growth of the society demanded larger 
quarters and a more public meeting place. The Woodman hall 
on Main street was rented for this purpose. In 1897 the .society 
organized into First Church of Christ, Scientist, according to the 
statutes of the state of Minnesota and in conformity with the 
rules and l)y-laws of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, 
]Mass. There were five charter mcml)ers. Francis A. Engle, Mrs. 
Mary A. Engle, :\Irs. Uu-inda Bm-k, .Miss Isabell Pliillii)s and 


Robert AVaddell. At the first communion, which was held in 
April of the same year, twelve new members were admitted. 
Early in 1898 a move was made to the Hayes Bros, hall, which 
was better fitted for religions services. Another move was made 
in 1900 to the Elks' neAv hall, Main street, which was finely 
located and beautifully finished and furnished. Public reading 
rooms were opened in the same building. In the year 1905 the 
church edifice on Maple street was purchased from the Univer- 
salists for a church home. At that date the membership num- 
bered between fifty and sixty. The consideration for this prop- 
erty was $2,500 and they proceeded at once to refurnish it 
entirely, within and without, until it reached its present valua- 
tion of $5,000. From the date of its organization, 1898, to 1911 
this church has given thirteen free public lectures by members 
of the board of lectureship of the mother church, the First Church 
of Christ, Scientist, Boston, ]\Iass. According to the rules and 
by-laws of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Mass., 
"The Bible and the Christian Science text-book are our only 
preachers." The "scriptural texts, and their correlative pas- 
sages from our denominational text-book" are read by first and 
second readers, elected by ballot at the annual church meeting. 
At the time of the organization of the Christian Science Society, 
Mrs. Mary A. Engle was first reader and John C. Engle second 
reader. At the present time (1911) the first reader is Mrs. Etta 
M. Ousley and ]Mrs. Anna Franklin is second reader. 

It is not the custom of Christian Science churches to dedicate 
their churches until free from all indebtedness. First Church of 
Christ, Austin, Minn., is now free from all financial incumbrances 
and announcement has been made for its dedication on May 21, 

Christian Brotherhood. The Christian Brotherhood is an inter- 
denominational organization composed of some 600 men. Its pur- 
pose is to upbuild the kingdom of God in the most practical and 
effective manner possible and tends to promote a feeling of 
brotherly love and co-operation. It is purely a laymen's organi- 
zation. Meetings are held every Sunday afternoon in Music Hall. 
The officers are : A. M. Lewis, president ; F. H. McCulloch, vice- 
president ; L. H. Stefflre, secretary ; E. A. Dalager, treasurer, and 
it is governed by an executive committee composed of two lay 
members of each church. 


Tlie Austin Carnegie Lil)rary is one of the important features 
of Austin life. The library building is of the Grecian style of 
architecture, one story, with basement throughout. It is built of 


Bedford (Indiana) buffstoue, with stone cornice and roofing. All 
the roof valleys and gutters are of copper. 

The building measures 56 by 56 feet. The main entrance is 
from the corner, facing northeast, the vestibule, the lobby and the 
stack room running continuously across the building, diagonally to 
the southwest corner. On entering one comes first into the spacious 
vestibule 16 by 16, with floor of terrazzo tile and Mosa'ic border. 
The lobby, 20x20 feet, is in the center of the building, with desk 
at the further end. The book stack room, 20 by 20 feet, is in the 
southwest corner. East of the lobby is the main reading room, 15 
by 30, fronting along St. Paul street. A reference room, 14x14 
feet, is on the south side between the reading room and the stack 
room, and on the north side is the children's room, 15 by 24. The 
librarian also has a private room. The whole interior is in quar- 
tered oak, and the floors throughout are covered with heavy lino- 
leum. The basement contains a large audience room, as well as 
smaller rooms. In addition to the main entrance there is a side 
entrance on the northwest corner. 

Frank I. Crane, the first president of the library board, served 
until his death in 1909. A. S. Campbell, then vice-president, was 
elected president in 1910. The present librarian, Mrs. Flora 
Crane Conner, has served since the building was opened. She 
received her training in the University of Minnesota summer 
school. The library contains some 7,000 volumes, appropriately 
divided into reference books, fiction, biogi-aphy, literature, travel 
and history. 

Historical summary : On March 16, 1869, twelve ladies, as has 
been noted in the history of the social activities of the city, met 
and organized the society known as the Austin Floral Club. They 
adopted a constitution and by-laws and elected officers. Meetings 
were held semi-monthly and the annual membership fee was 25 
cents. Austin was then a village of some 2,040 inhabitants. The 
first money received was expended for plants and seeds with 
which to beautify the village homes and develop a taste for flori- 
culture. Their marked success in this encouraged them to give a 
floral show together with a literary entertainment and concert, 
from which they realized $100, which was expended for books. 
One hundred and twenty-three volumes were received by donation. 
Thus with about 225 volumes the ladies laid the foundation for. 
the Austin Circulating Library. November 9, 1869, the library was 
formally opened. The constitution and by-laAvs of the Floral club 
were amended so as to constitute it a library association ; a charter 
Avas secured and the membership fee increased to $1. The by- 
laws were subsequently amended making $2 the annual fee for the 
use of the library by persons not members of the association. The 
club then had a membership of fifty. The ladies for many years, 


through literaiy entertaiuments, concerts, lectures and the like, 
made constant additions to the library by the purchase of books 
and through the donations from the government and individuals. 
]\Iarch 28, 189-4, was observed the silver anniversary of the club. 
The records showed that there had been 227 members up to that 
date. Upon completion of the new court house in 1886 a room 
in the basement was fitted up and set apart by the county com- 
missioners for the use of the library, Avhere the library has re- 
mained until removed to the new library building. For some time 
the members had been actively engaged endeavoring to found a 
new public library. At the solicitation of its members, acting 
through W. G. Cameron, they received a proposition from the Hon. 
Andrew Carnegie to donate to the city of Austin $12,000 to be 
used in the construction of a library building on condition that 
the city donate a proper site for the building and agree to raise a 
tax of $1,200 a year to maintain and keep up a library. While the 
proposition was being considered, Lyman D. Baird made a trip 
to Washington and secured an interview with Mr. Carnegie's rep- 
resentatives. Later the donation of Mr. Carnegie Avas increased 
to $15,000 for the erection of the library building. 

On November 1, 1901, the common council of the city of Austin 
accepted the generous gift of Mr. Carnegie and agreed to annually 
levy a tax of $1,200 and also set apart the lots on the corner of St. 
Paul and Bridge streets for a site. 

On July 19, 1902, a library board was elected at an election 
held for that purpose. The board elected was organized July 23, 
1902. The board took the necessary steps to procure plans and 
specifications and immediately thei'eafter commenced the construc- 
tion and erection of our present beautiful library building. The 
building was completed in April, 1904. Upon completion of the 
building the Floral club turned over, without cost to the library, 
about 3,500 volumes. 


(By Jennie G. Keith.) 

Austin is pre-eminently a social town. Not only is there a club, 
society or coterie for every class, age and condition of residents, 
but it would be hard to find, in places twice the size of Austin, so 
many hospitable homes and accompli.shed hostesses where enter- 
tainment is so royal. Good cheer and hospitality are among the 
first articles of the creed of Austinites. Strangers soon find their 
social status where they are most at home with congenial com- 
panions and find the entertainment which they most enjoy. Every 
one of our many diurches have their own particular societies, 
where members may enjoy the social life which the church fur- 


iiishes. For those who desire study there are reading eireles and 
clubs in which the membership is not limited and where one can 
follow his own particular line of study with intelligent, able lead- 
ers. Those who turn to works of charity and find their chief 
pleasure in lending a helping hand can find societies of this nature 
already organized, where they will be Avelcomed as workers. Those 
who look to society for recreation and enjoyment can surely find a 
place in the score or more of purely social clubs of our city. 

Austin is distinctively a home-keeping city. The ladies since 
the earliest days have taken their share in all public movements, 
and in fact many improvements have been inaugurated by the 
ladies, unassisted by the sterner sex. But Austin is not a club 
city. The women are domestic, and care for clubs not from a 
liking for club life but simply for the work which the clubs may 
accomplish. Consequently we do not find in Austin that multi- 
jilicity of clubs which is criticised in some places. 

There arc but two federated clubs in the city. Some organiza- 
tions have sprung into being as the women have seen the neces- 
sity for effort along particular lines, and have been allowed to die 
out when the work which called them into existence has been 
accomplished. Others, however, are still in a flourishing condi- 

The first women's movement in Austin was an effort in 1856 to 
keep the general merchants from illegally selling whisky, and the 
Avomen pledged themselves not to patronize the merchants who 
refused to sign a resolution promising not to sell intoxicants. 
A regular temperance organizatioji was perfected by the women 
in 1857. The next women's movement of consequence was the 
organization of the Mite Society on February 1, 1862. This society 
was formed for the purpose of procuring and improving a ceme- 
tery plot. Many ladies' aid societies were also organized at an 
early day. 

An event of historic importance to Austin took place in March. 
1869. when the Floral Club was organized. This club is still in 
existence and has affiliated with the IMinnesota Federation of 
"Women's Clubs. The other federated club in Austin is the Art 
and Travel Club. Another women's organization is the Era Club, 
which affiliates with the National federation. 

The Stoddard and St. Augustine Reading clubs hold interest- 
ing meetings. The Sunshine Society, which is independent of the 
state society, has done much in a charitable way ; the Y. "W. C. A. 
is working for the young ladies, and the W. C. T. U. is aggressively 
engaged in temperance activities. The Esperanto Club has at- 
tracted considerable attention, and the High School Alumni Asso- 
ciation and the Birthday Club have been pleasant and important 
social factors. Two organizations among the high school boys, the 

268 IllSTOUY OF :\I()\VEi; COI'XTY 

Duodecim and the Kuights of the Round Table, have done much 
to advance literary interest among the younger portion of the 

Youngf Women's Christian Association. In 1906 a Y. W. C. A. 
was perfected in Austin, ]\Irs. Charles L. West being one of the 
prime movers in the organization. Neat and attractive rooms were 
fitted up, and these have served as rest rooms for people in the 
city and from the country as well as a place for social and re- 
ligious gatherings by the young ladies. In 1906 there were 275 
members, with forty in the Bible class. A year later the member- 
ship Avas 250, and still a year later it was 200. In 1909 it had 
dropped to 150, and that year a general secretary, Miss Ruby St. 
Amour, was engaged. The membership is now 540, and the work 
is in a most flourishing condition. The Philathea Bible class has a 
large membership, and the gymnasium classes under a special 
physical director are well attended. Monthly Sunday vesper serv- 
ices are held, and, aside from work along the regular lines, life 
talks are given and information is imparted in domestic science, 
household art, home nursing, and other subjects. Mrs. C. L. West 
was president until 1910, when the present president, Mrs. F. I. 
Crane, was elected. The other officers are : Vice-president, Mrs. 
AV. R. Terry; treasurer, Helen S. Banfield; secretary, Mrs. M. J. 
Sorflaten; county secretary, Gertrude B. Sly. Work has been 
done toward perfecting a county organization, with a view to 
special work in the villages and rural districts. 

The Ladies' Floral Club. This club has been an important 
factor in the literary, social and moral development of Austin, 
and is worthy of more extended mention than can be given it in 
this volume. Its concerts and entertainments have been a part 
of the history of Austin, and many public movements have re- 
sulted directly from its efforts. March 16, 1869, twelve ladies 
met at the home of Mrs. Orlenzer Allen and organized the Austin 
Floral Club. The following were the original members : ]\Irs. 
H. I. Parker. Mrs. M. J. Mayhew, Mrs. E. M. Morse. Mrs. Q. A. 
Truesdell, Mrs. H. A. Davidson, Mrs. F. A. Brownson, Mrs. M. S. 
Lamoreaux, ]\Irs. A. E. Allen. Mrs. C. C. Crane, Mrs. L. A. 
Sherwood, Mrs. J. G. Warner, Mrs. P. I. Sargent, and Miss A. J. 
Lowry. Mrs. E. M. Morse will ever be venerated as the real in- 
stigator of the club. She was a great lover of nature, and the 
club was the result of her proposition that the ladies assist in 
developing a taste for horticulture and floriculture. ]\Irs. Morse 
was the first president and IMrs. F. A. Brownson the first secre- 
tary. The .season was favorable for flowers and it Avas decided 
to give a floral show, and with the proceeds therefrom to lay .the 
foundation for a Ladies' Circulating Library. The shoAV ex- 
tended several days, and truly beautiful displays of flowers 


-were made. Books were purchased with the proceeds, and many- 
were donated, so that November 9, 1869, the library of 225 vol- 
umes was formally opened in the old court house, southwest of 
the present court house. During the next few years entertain- 
ments of various sorts were held to provide funds. Mrs. J. N. 
Wheat, Mrs. J. L. Davidson and Mrs. J. M. King each in turn 
opened her hovise to receive the books and to serve as librarian. 
In 1884 the library was moved to quarters in the basement of 
the present court house. The first regular librarian was Miss 
Sarah Beatty, who afterward became Mrs. J. R. Webb. She was 
followed by Mrs. H. H. Kent, who served for many years. Mrs. 
Morse served as president thirty-tAvo years. Her work lives in 
the hearts of her associates. Mrs. F. A. Brownson and Mrs. 
Sarah L. Davidson served many years as secretary. Mrs. Gibson 
was for ten years treasurer and eight years chairman of the 
hook committee. Mrs. L. A. Sherwood gave much time and effort 
in the early years in arranging for concerts and musicals. Others 
who assisted in many ways were the Mesdames N. P. Austin, 
O. Ayers, E. B. Crane, J. F. Cook, C. H. Coates, H. H. Kent, D. B. 
Johnson and many others. The club was federated in 1908 and 
Mrs. 0. H. Hegge is the president. The club celebrated its silver 
anniversary in 1894. As the work of the library increased the 
bui'den became too heavy for the Floral club to carry alone and 
in 1892, at the request of the ladies, a library board of the city 
of Austin was elected. When the Carnegie Library opened in 
1904 the ladies turned over 3,500 volumes. 

Art and Travel Club. This club was organized in 1903 for 
the purpose of mutual improvement, a prime mover in the or- 
ganization being Mrs. L. D. Baird. The club is limited to thirty 
members and meetings are held twice a month at the home of one 
of the members. At each meeting papers are read prepared by 
various members and roll call is responded to by some current 
event item. The club has taken up for study the important cities 
of the United States, the West Indies and South America, Eng- 
lish cathedral towns, English history, London and vicinity, the 
British empire. The present year the club is engaged in study 
of the Mediterranean countries. Mrs. J. H. Skinner is president. 

Era Club. The Era Club, whose members are of the opinion 
tliat the name is more attractive than "The Woman Suffrage" 
club, is devoted to political equality. It was founded by Miss 
Laura Gregg, of Kansas, national organizer, ten years ago. Miss 
Gregg was accompanied to Austin and otlier points by Rev. Ida 
C. Hultin. The women of all the Austin churches were invited 
to attend and meetings were held in the afternoon and evening 
in an edifice since used as a Christian Science church. Mrs. 
Boostrom was elected president when the club was formed and 

2'*<0 lUSTOliY OF :\I()\VEH COUXTY 

served in the executive capacity seven years. ]\Irs. John D. 
Smith is now serving as president. • The club has entertained the 
state suffrage convention twice in its history and its influence is 

A prominent member is jNIrs. Lizzie Catherwood, through 
whose efforts the local end of the organization was brought to a 
successful issue ten years ago. At the monthly meetings, held 
throughout the year at the homes of members, the attendance is 
notably large, particularly at the evening meetings. Lawyers, 
ministers, teachers and newspaper Avriters have addressed the 
meetings from time to time and the influence of the suffragists is 
brought to bear on all visitors. The club membership numbers 
157. Its aim is to create interest in political equality for women 
and it takes a part in all efforts to advance the interests of 
women and childi'cn. It has invariably sent delegates to the 
state convention, and occasionally to the national convention. 

Esperanto Club. The Esperanto Club has been organized 
several years and has numbered a considerable membership. Dr. 
F. E. Daigneau, who was instrumental in the organization of the 
club, and who has been president since it was organized, has re- 
ceived a preliminary diploma and advanced diploma, and is first 
vice-president of the American Esperanto Association. Consider- 
able foreign correspondence has been the result of the study of 
this universal language. 

The Duodecim. The Duodecim Society is composed of young 
men in and graduates from our high school. The object is good 
fellowship, self-improvement and development along the lines of 
debate and extemporary speaking. The society was organized in 
1903 and is limited to a working membership of twelve. The 
alumni members are formed into an honorary society, which 
numbers fifty. The society meets every other week and renders 
a ju-ogram consisting of two or three papers on some up-to-date 
topic and a debate. 

An elaborate annual l)an(|uet is one of the features of the 
year's woi"k. 

The Knights of the Round Table liave an organization similar 
in many ways to tlie Duodecim. dating from 1909. They were 
organized for the development of the young men mentally, 
morally and socially. Tlieir mcmljcrship is limited to thirteen. 
An annufil l)anquet is a club feature. 

The Stoddard Club. The Stoddard Club was organized in 
I90(), ]\Irs. P. 11. Friend being one of the prime movers. Since its 
organization it has been engaged in the reading of the Stoddard 
Lectures. Tlie club meets every other Thursday at the home of 
some one of tlie members. Two readers are appointed for each 
meeting and a rouiul table of current events form a part of the 


program of each meeting. The elub has given to the public 
library a set of the Stoddard Lectures and a copy of Zona Gale's 
Pelleas and Etarre. The membership is not limited. ]\lrs. \V. II. 
Albertson is president and i\Irs. J. L. Mitchell, treasurer. 

St. Augustine's Reading Circle. St. Augustine's Reading 
Circle is a societj' of women composed of members of St. Augus- 
tine's Catholic Church, who have organized for the purpose of 
study especially connected with their faith. They were organ- 
ized as a club in February, 1907, with Mrs. T. H. Pridham the 
first president. Their work consists of a study of Stoddard's Lec- 
tures, and at present the study of the gospel of St. John and the 
sacraments and commandments of the church. The circle meets 
the second Thursday of the mouth for study and is at present 
under the leadership of Mrs. J. Z. Rogers as president. There 
were fourteen charter members and the membership has been 
limited to that number. 

Ladies of the Hospital. In October, 1908, a number of ladies 
under the leadership of Mrs. R. S. Holmes organized an auxiliary 
to the St. Olaf Hospital Association. The original membership 
was seventeen; it is now 100. Few if any societies in our city 
have accomplished as much as the Ladies of the Hospital. During 
the year they have done the necessary sewing for the hospital, 
hemming sheets, pillow cases and towels, etc. 'They have fur- 
nished neatly and completely a room in the hospital. They have 
purchased a wheeled chair, to lighten the work of the nui'ses. 
They have contributed an annual gift of jellies and canned goods 
to the hospital. Through their efforts and leadership a fine am- 
bulance, costing nearly .$1,000, was purchased and presented to 
the city, a place provided for its housing and the society has 
undertaken keeping it in repair. The object of the society is to 
further the good work of the hospital and to assist the nurses in 
their labor. ]\Irs. R. S. Holmes is president. 

Austin High School Alumni Association. The father of the 
Alumni Association is L. N. McWhorter. It Avas through his de- 
sire to have an organization that Avould be helpful from a social 
standpoint in keeping the interest in the high school and also 
through his energy that the association was organized. During 
the summer of 1894 he made a house to house canvas of the 
graduates. Later a meeting was held in the assembly room of the 
high school, at which time a constitution modeled after the con- 
stitution of the General Alumni Association of ]Minneapolis was 
presented and adopted. 

The organization meeting was held in the high school assem- 
bly room, July 13. 1894. with forty-three charter members. The 
first annual mooting was held at the Evergreen Farm, in tlie 
suiniiicr of ISO."). All graduates of Iho ,\ustiii High School and 


their spouses are eligible to membership. An amaual publication, 
the Altruist, is issued. The presidents of the association have 
been : 1895, A. 0. Dinsmoor ; 1896, L. M. McWhorter ; 1897, Wini- 
fred Ober Reed; 1898, Gertrude Ellis Skinner; 1899, Ida Eccel- 
ston French; 1900, Ada Morgan Crane; 1901, Ida Smith Decker; 
1902, Etta Barnes Decker ; 1903, F. W. Greenman ; 1904, George 
E. Anderson; 1905, Fred C. Ulmer; 1906, Cecil Freeman; 1907, 
Wallace Gregson ; 1908, Thaddeus Thompson; 1909, Chester 
Johnson; 1910, Ralph Crane; 1911, J. N. Nicholsen. 

Birthday Club. The club in Austin which has had perhaps 
the most unique and clever social programs, and which is distinc- 
tively social in its function, is the Birthday Club, founded in 
1903 at the home of Mrs. A. M. Smith. The membership is prac- 
tically Qomposed of young married people and the programs and 
meetings occur at irregular intervals, depending upon the circum- 
stances, the main one of Avhich is the birthday date of the indi- 
vidual member. 

The Civil Improvement League has done much toward beauti- 
fying the city, planting flowers in waste places, cleaning up alleys 
and promoting civic pride. Mrs. Flora Conner and Mrs. W. C. 
Holmes were instrumental in its formation. It was fostered by 
the Commercial Club, and encouraged by the work of the State 
Federation of W^omen's Clubs. The league Avas organized in 

Sunshine Association. Early in September of 1907, in response 
to a suggestion made by Mrs. John H. Skinner, the Y. W. C. A. 
undertook the distribution of clothing and other necessities to 
the needy. This work had long been done by the Herald, but 
it was felt that closer supervision was needed. Mrs. J. E. Robin- 
son, then secretary of the Y. W. C. A., willingly added this to her 
other duties. The Ladies' Relief Society of Austin was invited to 
hold its meetings in the rooms. This had been for many years a 
splendid organization of representative women, Avho had gener- 
ously ministered to the needs of the poor and imfortunate. Owing 
to illness, death or removal from the city only three members of 
the organization were active at this time, and the working force 
Avas composed almost entirely of new members. At the annual 
meeting in April, 1908, it was decided to change the name of the 
society to the Sunshine Association of Austin, to incorporate and 
to engage a general secretary. This was done at small expense. 

The society has about fifty members. Meetings for work are 
held Thursday afternoons from October to June, although many 
women Avlio wish to help a good work along visit the rooms on 
itliei' ;ifternnf)ns. where Flora Johnson, the secretary, always 
hiis AV(irl< I'oi- willing Ii;inds. 

O. II. HK(iGK, M. 


A vast amount of work has been done by this organization. 
Many comforters have been made and distributed, thousands of 
gfarments, new and partly worn, have been passed on, and dozens 
of complete outfits for infants have been made and given to des- 
titute mothers. During the cold months an average of 200 gar- 
ments a month are passed on by charitable persons through the 
agency of the society. An average of ten calls a week is made by 
the visiting committee. Every cry of distress that comes to the 
ears of a Sunshiner is quickly investigated and relief always 
given to helpless women and little children. The association 
has been enabled to do this work by financial contributions from 
the Elks, Masons, Eagles, Christian Endeavorers of the Congre- 
gational church, a lecture by Kev. J. F. Budlong and generous 
gifts from other friends too numerous to mention. Last June 
the Herald generously otfered the society rooms rent free, and the 
Smishine headquarters are now in the Herald building. At the 
present time Mrs. C. L. West is president ; Mrs. George Sutton, 
vice-president; Mrs. P. A. Reilly, secretary; Mrs. W. R. Terry, 
treasurer ; and Miss Flora Johnson, general secretary of the 
organization. Too much credit cannot be given Mrs. C. L. "West 
for her work in this capacity. Energetic, capable and self-sacrific- 
ing, she has labored in every good cause which has solicited her 
attention, and her name is beloved in the many households which 
she has benefited. 

St. Olav Hospital and Training School. St. Olav Hospital and 
Training School is an outgroAvth of a private hospital conducted 
by Drs. Hegge & Hegge, in some rented rooms over the Daily 
Register office in Austin, Minn. Owing to the rapid gi'owth and 
steadily increasing practice of these physicians, it soon became ap- 
parent that a hospital should be established in Austin on a more 
permanent basis, and Dr. 0. H. Hegge accordingly Avent to the 
aimual meeting of the United Lutheran Church, assembled at St. 
Paul, Minn., in June, 1896, and spoke before the convention of 
Lutheran clergymen about his plan of having a hospital organ- 
ized in Austin. This meeting, however, could not be prevailed 
upon to take any direct interest in the establishment of this hos- 
pital; but a special meeting of some of the local clergymen and 
some of the interested laymen was called, and Dr. Hegge did not 
give up his efforts until the Austin Hospital Association was 
formed and incorporated under the laws of the state of IMinne- 
sota. The first board of directors was elected the 5th day of 
June, 1896, as follows : Rev. J. Mueller Eggen, Lyle, Minn., presi- 
dent; Rev. S. O. Rondestvedt, Grand Meadow, Minn., vice- 
president; Rev. E. T. Rogne, Austin. Minn., secretary and treas- 
U1-C1-. P. K. Everson, TTnstad, Iowa; L, F. Clausen, .\ustiii. Minn.. 


and Dr. 0. H. Hogge, Austin, ^Minu., Avere the other members of 
the board of directors. 

The Austin Hospital Association, as the corporation was called, 
inmiediately acquired sufficient ground at 916 Lansing avenue 
for tlie hospital and training school. Lena Nelson, a Lutheran 
deaconess from Minneapolis, -was called as sister in charge, and 
Drs. O. H. and C. A. Ilegge constituted the regular hospital staff, 
although the hospital also opened its doors to all regular physi- 
cians and surgeons in Austin and vicinity. The hospital is located 
in the best residence district ip Austin, overlooking the banks 
of the Red Cedar, about half a mile from the business center, and 
removed from the noise, dust and smoke of the factories and 

St. Olav Hospital proved a success from the start, and in 1910 
it was necessary to build a large addition, as more room was 
needed both for the patients and for the training school. At this 
time two new operating rooms with complete surgical equipment 
were also added, as well as a fine new ambulance, which Avas 
donated by the ladies of Austin. 

The Corporation. The general purpose of this corporation, 
according to the articles of incorporation, "shall be the owning, 
erecting, maintaining and conducting a public hospital for the 
medical and surgical care and treatment of persons afflicted 
with disease, admitted as patients therein, and to do and perform 
all the business incident and necessary to the successful operation 
of a public hospital. The corporation is organized for benevolent 
purposes and not for profit, and shall, Avhen able to do so, care for 
and nui'se worthy poor patients admitted into the hospital free 
of charge. The location of said hospital shall be in the city of 
Austin, in the county of Mower, in the state of Minnesota." 

^Membership. A. "Tlie voting members of this association 
shall be members of any Lutheran church who shall have paid a 
membership fee of $5 and an annual fee of $1. No member shall 
have more than one vote. B. Lutheran clergymen in and about 
the city of Austin, Minn., shall be honorary members of this cor- 
poration, but may become voting members In- paying tlie fees as 
prescribed in the by-laws." 

The board of directors of the Austin Hospital Association in 
1911 are: Rev. J. A. E. Naess, Austin, Minn., president; Rev. 
E. 0. Hofstad, Hayfield, vice-president ; W. R. Earl, Austin, Minn., 
secretary; Gust. Sehleuder, Austin, Minn., treasurer; Rev. 0. 
Jolmson, Blooming Prairie, Minn., and Seymour Johnson, Austin, 
Minn. Mr. Jolmson has for several years been active manager of 
tlie liospital. and under his careful and economical business 
miinagi'iiient llic instilulion has greatly prospered. 

C A. HIAAmE, M. h. 

ilSTUI.'Y OF MOWKi; C'orX'I'V 


The first public school in Austin was organized in the suinuier 
of 1856. It was taught by Maria Vaughan in a log house which 
was afterward occupied by Ormanzo Allen for a dwelling. It 
stood on the north side of Water street, where James Anderson '.s 
dwelling was afterward erected. The following winter, school 
was held in a frame dwelling, remodeled for the purpose, on Maple 
street, southeast of where the Fleck house (occupied by the 
McCulloeh Printing Company) now stands. Sarah Bemis was the 
teacher. The third term of school was taught in the same place 
by Kate Conkey. The next move was made to the old "Head- 
quarters" in a room Avhich on Sundays was used for church 
services. This school was taught by a young man named Saxon. 
About this time Mr. Pike taught in the Hunt & Bassford building 
across from the court house. "Headquarters" was the place of 
holding school till 1866, Avhen the first school house was erected 
on the present site of the Public library. It was a one-story, two- 
room brick building costing $2,750. It was later used by the 
Methodist church, and still later used again for school purposes. 
It was removed to make room for our fine Carnegie library build- 
ing. After the fire of 1890, Marian Miller, now Mrs. E. H. 
Sterling, had 103 first primary pupils in one of the rooms of this 
school house. Superintendent Fitch suggested that as the weather 
was too warm to need a fire, the children might be put in the 
stove. W. T. Mandeville taught the first school therein, com- 
mencing in February, 1866. In 1868 the school was first graded 
into departments. Other teachers in this building during the 
early years Avere Mr. Otis and daughter, and Miss Davidson. 

In 1869 it was found necessai'y to provide more school room, 
and a fine three-story brick structure was erected on the block 
now occupied by the Franklin high school. It was built by D. J. 
Tubbs, one of Austin 's pioneers, at a cost of $35,000. It was not 
completed till 1870. September 12, 1870, Mr. Tubbs. Avhile at 
work, fell two stories, breaking tAvo ribs. The first teachers in 
this building Avere Horace L. Strong, superintendent. ^Misses E. L. 
Eastman, Eva D. Sherbondy, Julia Hobart, Ella Cook, and Loi 
Cook. It Avas here that the high school Avas organized by Superin- 
tendent E. BigeloAV, and Avhere superintendents taught Avho have 
since achieved success — James J. Doav, superintendent of the 
State School for the Blind, at Faribault; Judge W. W. Keysor, 
professor in the laAV school of Washington Universitj', St. Louis. 
Mo.; A. AV. Rankin, professor in the ITniversity of ^linnesota. 
and George B. Aiton. state high school inspector. This old his- 
toric building Avas burned April 28. 1890. The fire broke out at 


8 o'clock in the morning, before the teachers and i^npils had 
reached the building. 

The present Franklin high school was built immediately on 
the same site and was opened March, 1891. It Avas remodeled in 
1907 and is one of the best buildings in the state. 

The following ward schools have been built : Lincoln school, 
in the third word, in 1887. First it was a four-room building. In 
1893 two rooms were added, and in 1907 two rooms more. This 
school house was burned early in the morning of January 8, 1909. 
A beautiful eight-room brick building Avas erected on the same 
site and fitted up with the latest and best school house equipment. 

The Whittier, a two-room school at the south bridge, Avas 
built in 1893. 

The Webster, a one-room school east of the Mihvaukee tracks, 
was opened in 1891. 

The Sumner, a four-room brick school in the north part of the 
city, was erected in 1894. 

The "Washington, a four-room brick school, AA^as erected in 
1907. It is across the road from the high school building, and the 
entire basement is occupied by the high school gymnasium, Avith 
shoAA^cr baths and dressing rooms. It is heated from the high 
school plant. 

The Franklin, Lincoln, Sumner and Washington schools haA'e 
fan A^entilation. The Washington building is unique in that the 
heating coils and fan are located in the attic, the Avarni fresh air 
being bloAA'u doAA^n instead of up, as is usually done. The build- 
ings are all in first-class condition and great care is taken to keep 
them clean and sanitary. 

The people of Austin have ahvays taken great pride in their 
school and have not been satisfied Avith anything but the best. The 
first class to graduate from the high school Avas in 1877. It con- 
sisted of tAvo members, Rose E. Litchfield and Olie Crane. A class 
lias graduated each year Avith the exception of 1885. The total 
number to receive diplomas, including the class of 1911, is 621 — 
i48 girls and 173 boys. There is a noticeable increase in the per- 
centage of boys in the classes during the last fcAV years, although 
the class of 1882 Avas all boys — Frederick R. CIoav, Adelbert 0. 
Dinsmoor and Eugene B. Summy. Many have attained distinc- 
tion. The leading men and Avomen of Austin are numbered among 
the alumni. A large number have finished their education in 
liigher institutions of learning and are successful in the various 
professional and business lines. 

The High School Alumni Association is a "live Avire." Among 
oilier up-to-date enterprises. The Altruist deserves special men- 
tion. Tiie tentli issue (June, 1910) is before me. It is a twenty- 
fiv('-])agi' annuiil edited by Estella Slaven, Daisy MaxAvell, Helen 

HI8T0KY OF :\ro\vp:R (orxTY 2rr 

Banfield and Wallace Gregeson. It contains history, reminiscence, 
wit, and humor which every alumnus will enjoy and appreciate 
more and more as the years roll by. The alumni association is 
doing much to form and keep alive school spirit and interest. 

The school curricula embrace the latest in educational thought. 
Courses are offered to meet any demand, whether in academic or 
industrial lines. Athletics and gymnasium work is encouraged for 
the purpose of developing manly and womanly qualities and 
physical health and vigor. From "Milestones of the Austin High 
School," in The Altruist, I quote: 1881, the first laboratory 
started; 1888, first juniors' reception to seniors; 1894, alumni 
association organized, organization of the first football team (Mr. 
Selleck organizer), the introduction of music into the high school 
curriculum; 1895, first alumni banquet; 1896-7, organization of 
the first baseball team; 1903, first eighth grade commencement 
year; 1906, introduction of manual training; 1907, remodeling of 
interior of high school ; 1908, domestic science finds a place in the 
course ; 1909, a high school gymnasium opened, forge work began, 
pottery woi'k introduced. Alumni Athletic Association formed. 

In 1909 the Columbus Parochial School was opened in a beauti- 
ful new building, Avith an enrollment of about 240 pupils. In 
September last a high school class of about twenty-five was 

Our public school enrollment the present year is 1,264, 263 
being in the high school. Thirty-eight teachers are employed. 
The school board members are : H. A. Avery, president ; C. I. 
Johnson, clerk; Alex S. Campbell, treasurer; Joseph Keenan, 
C. H. Decker and George Hirsh. 

Following is a list of superintendents : Horace L. Strong, 
about 1869-1874; James J. Dow, 1874-1875; E. Bigelow, 1874-1879; 
W. ^Y. Keysor. 1879-1881 ; A. W. Rankin, 1881-1884; H. L. Gibson, 
1884-1885; George B. Alton, 1885-1886; E. T. Fitch, 1886-1891; 
AV. E. Aul, 1891-1892; W. F. F. Selleck, 1892-1901; Andrew 
Nelson. 1901-1906; George A. Franklin. 1906. 

A recent writer has said that the story of the Soutliern ^linne- 
sota Normal College reads like a romance. The first conception 
of such an institution took root when one of its founders was 
denied the privilege of going to school because of not having the 
necessary means of paying his tuition. 

Immediately after this refusal he walked down and out of the 
regi.stration room of one of Illinois' educational in.stitutions, and. 
pausing a moment on the sidewalk, shook his fist at the president's 
window and said: "I will have an institution some day where 
any boy or any girl can go to school, no matter how poor and no 
matter wliat is the stage of their advancement." This determi- 


nation finally resulted in the founding of the Southern Minnesota 
Normal College and Austin School of Commerce. 

In 1896, Charles E. Boostrom made a trip to Minnesota to 
determine upon a location for the school, visiting Crookston, Ked 
Wing, Kenyon, Detroit and other promising cities. Upon this 
trip he met Dr. E. M. Shelde, who was at that time conducting a 
pi-ivate normal school at Kenyon. Minn. Professor Boostrom 
became acquainted with Dr. Shelde partly through correspond- 
ence and partly through a mutual friend, 0. G. Jackman. 

On March 16, 1897, Dr. Shelde, Charles R. Boostrom and 0. G. 
Jackman met at Kenyon, Minn., and drew up articles of agree- 
ment to incorporate and found a school somewhere within the 
boundary of the state. The next morning, March 17, found them 
in Austin, ready to lay their proposition before the city council. 
The late Frank I. Crane, who was at that time mayor of Austin, 
immediately called a meeting of the city council and of the citi- 
zens, to hear the proposition to be made. Professor Boostrom 
•was chosen to set forth the purposes of the institution to be 
founded, as follows : To provide an institution, first, for those 
poor in money put rich in intellect, and whose early education had 
been neglected. Second, for teachers who had had little time to 
prepare for teaching and who desired to raise the grade of their 
certificate. Third, for those who desired a thorough business and 
shorthand education, and, in fact, anyone, no matter how young 
or how old, how rich or how poor, who desired the foundations 
of an education. 

Very little was asked from the city except that five acres of 
land should be provided as a suitable location for the future place 
and that the school should be given quarters rent free for one 

Twenty years ago the schools were not good in the Nortli- 
Avest. The settlers were poor and unable to send their children a 
long distance to school. As a result, throughout the Northwest 
there are many adults Avho possess merely the rudiments of an 
English education. The founders of Austin's independent normal 
school had the idea of building up the large institution by pro- 
viding adult classes in common school branches for the class. 

The following committee was appointed by Mayor F. I. Crane 
to complete arrangements with the institution: Gus Schleuder, 
Dr. II. A. Avery, E. W. Doer, George Hirsh and Ira Padden. 

The citizens of Austin readily saw that such an institution, 
properly and carefully managed, Avould become a great factor 
in the development of their town, and provided temporary quar- 
ters, in Avhat had hocu the old Flock house, for the new school. 
Meager indeed were llie e(|uipnuMits, and perhaps only a score 


or two of students met on the beginning dny of the first session, 
September 21, 1897. 

When the proprietors arrived to take cliarge of the work the 
building was verj- much in need of a complete renovation. The 
citizens of Austin delight in telling how Professor Boostrom 
donned a pair of overalls and, procuring a spade, proceeded, him- 
self, to dig at the debris that obstructed the basement. 

From the very beginning the growth of the school was rapid. 
By the end of the first year over 150 students had been attracted 
by the excellent instruction and the moderate cost of board, room 
and tuition. 

E. ]\r. Shelde became the tirst president, Charles R. Boostrom, 
vice-president and treasurer, while Ole Jackson became the first 
secretary. This arrangement continued for the first three years, 
when, on account of the failure of Dr. Shelde 's health, he retired 
from the corporation and Professor Boostrom succeeded to the 

At the close of the first year the college company erected a 
small frame structure on a tract of five acres of land given it by 
Albert Galloway, a public-spirited citizen of Austin. The fol- 
lowing summer John Harpman erected a dormitory and boarding 
hall for the use of the college, and the building erected soon 
proved too small for the "baby giant" of an institution. In an 
inconceivably short time the attendance had doubled and had 
doubled again and again, students coming from nearly every 
northwestern state, for here they had found the place where worth, 
not wealth, where industry, not raiment, determined their posi- 
tion. The student body consists of every shade of religion and 
of political belief and of almost every nationality under the sun, 
all being ciiltivated and educated in the law-abiding restraints 
which distinguish the American. 

To provide quarters for the rapidly increasing institution the 
citizens of Austin unanimously voted to erect and equip a building 
to accommodate not less than 1,000 students. This was but three 
years ago, yet so rapidly had the news of an institution of this 
kind spread over the Xoi-fhwcst that the facilities are already 
becoming crowded. 

Perhaps nothing is more indicative of the spirit pervading the 
institution than the remark made to the committee by Professor 
Boostrom when the new building was under discussion. "Gentle- 
man." he said, "you can't give us this l)uildiiig. If you ])uild the 
building for this school you must build with tlie understanding that 
we shall haA'c the privilege of paying for the same at the rate of 
$1,000 a year until the debt is entirely wiped out. Any institution 
that cannot pay its way in the world isn't fit to live." 

Perhaps the institution would not have been possible had it 


not been for the tireless and constant assistance of the Avives of 
its proprietors during the early years of its history — Mrs. Shelde, 
Mrs. Boostrom, Mrs. Harpman and Mrs. Heilman — in their ambi- 
tion to aid their respective husbands in their own way and make 
the institution a success. In the class room and also at the bed- 
side of sick students their work had been done, and well done. 

The students are scattered all over the United States from 
i\Iaine to California; some are in the treasury department at 
AVashington; one has recently distinguished himself as astron- 
omer at the United States observatory at Flagstaff, Ariz. ; two 
hundred or more of them are stenographers and bookkeepers in 
the Twin Cities; many of them are traveling salesmen; while 
hundreds of them are meeting with marked success as teachers. 
For instance, one young man who Avas Avorking on the farm for 
$15 a month six years ago is now traveling auditor for one of the 
largest lumber companies in the Northwest. Two others have 
charge of the Chicago branch of the Success Publishing Company. 

February 6, 1906, Avas red letter day in the history of the 
institution, for then it was that the college had as distinguished 
guests GoA'ernor John A. Johnson, State Superintendent John 
Olsen, and Gen. F. B. Wood. The guests Avere entertained at 
1 o'clock luncheon at the home of President and Mrs. Boostrom, 
where they were met by two score of Austin's elite, after which 
they were escorted to the college chapel, AA^here several hundred 
expectant students gave them a rousing reception. When the 
governor was introduced the students fairly Avent wild, for in 
him they recognized one Avho had the same privations and had to 
fight the same battles in the effort to gain an education. 

During the summer of 1909 a ncAV department was added and 
a ncAV building Avas built, knoAvn as the steam engineering 

In May. 1910, Vice-President A. F. Harpman sold' his interest 
in the institution to William W. Meiners, who was a graduate of 
the scientific course of the institi;tion and had also been one of its 
former instructors in the teachers' department. In June of the 
same year Professor 0. C. Heilman succeeded Professor Harpman 
as vice-president and treasurer, and Professor W. W. ]\Ieiners Avas 
elected secretary to succeed Professor Heilman. 


In other days there have been vai'ious boards of trade, but the 
present club had its beginning in 1903, Avhen the Austin Pro- 
gressive League Avas organized. A preliminary meeting Avas held 
November 18, at Avhich A. W. Wright Avas chairman and I. B. 
Sherwood secretary. Fifteen Avere present. At the next meeting, 


November 25, a large number of professional and business men 
Avere present and the following officers were elected: President, 
A. W. Wright; vice-president, A. L. Ebcrhart; secretary, T. II. 
Pridham ; treasurer, A. JM. Smith ; directors, J. D. Sheedy, Nicholas 
Nicholsen and C. F. Cook; membership committee, F. II. McCul- 
loch, Coyt Belding, John Skinner, E. P. Kelley and Dr. A. W. 
Allen. Since then the presidents have been A. W. Wright, S. D. 
Catherwood, R. R. Murphy, Dr. A. W. Allen and 0. J. Simmons.' 
There are at present 176 members, and the present officers are: 
President, O. J. Simmons; vice-president, J. S. Sheedy; treasurer, 
F. C. Wilbour ; directors, F. E. Gleason, E. M. Doane, R. L. Stim- 
son, L. W. Decker, W. L. Bassler and T. A. Revord. The club 
associates Avith the ]\Iinnesota Federation of Commercial Clubs. 

Its work has resulted in a general betterment of business con- 
ditions in Austin. The club was sponsor of the paving movement ; 
it has brought industries here ; it has fostered the Civic Improve- 
ment League; it was active in having the beautiful hiunane foun- 
tain erected here by the National Humane Alliance, and it has 
helped to advertise the city in various ways. It has also been an 
important social feature. The name was changed from the Austin 
Progressive League to the Austin Commercial Club, Aug. 4, 1909. 

When the club was organized the first few meetings were held 
in Harmouia hall, at 115 East Bridge street. Rooms were later 
opened at 325 North Main street, over the store of C. L. West. 
The present quarters were occupied September 1, 1909, having 
been ecpiipped for the special purposes of the club. Few com- 
mercial clubs outside of the very large cities have more commo- 
dious, comfortable and well-furnished club rooms. A glance at 
the views presented will give a faint idea of Austin's commercial 
club's quarters. The floors are of polished birch, the walls deco- 
rated in old gold and green. The lights are tungsten lamps in 
clusters. The woodwork is all old mission oak, and the furniture 
is upholstered in leather. There are two pool and two billiard 
tables and a shuffle-board in the amusement room, besides a dozen 
card tables, the latter separated from the other by an old mission 
partition four feet high. The amusement room is 50 x 50 feet. 
The general assembly room is the same size as the amusement 
room. Here the floor is covered with fine rugs. This room is 
also used as a reading room. On the north and south sides of the 
assembly room are consultation and conference rooms. There are 
two telephone booths, each of which is provided with everything 
necessary for recording conversation. There are also cloak rooms, 
lavatories and everything to afford comfort and pleasure to its 

The business men also have an organization known as the 
Austin Business Men's Association, which meets to determine the 


hours of closing the stores, for the discussion of matters per- 
taining to their line of work. They are also members of a county 
organization known as the Mower County Merchants' Association, 
which has for its purpose mutual protection, collection of bills, etc. 
Once a year the organization meets to listen to reports from offi- 
cers and to addresses from able lecturers brought here for the 
purpose of instruction in promotion of trade. 


Austin is a good hotel town. J]very traveling man Avho has 
ever "made" the town will tell you so. The first hotel was estab- 
lished here one year after the village was "staked out" in 1855. 
A year later Austin had two hotels. The city grew up around 
its hotels, and even today its hotels do much to advertise it. 

First Hotel. The first hotel in Austin was opened by J. H. 
McKinley early in 1856. Previous to this time the traveling 
public had been entertained at private house and by B. J. Brown, 
who kept a boarding house. McKinley purchased from Leverich, 
who had also kept a sort of a boarding house, a frame building 
located on the present site of the Windsor house. 

The Snow House. In June, 1856, J. H. McKinley sold his hotel 
to George E. "VVilbour and Solomon Snow, who took charge in 
September of that year. This was then known as the Snow house, 
and contained eight rooms. One of these rooms was large enough 
for eleven beds, and was called the school section. Snow & "Wil- 
bour managed the hotel until 1859, when Mr. Wilbour returned 
east, and Mr. Snow occupied the house for a time as a private 
residence. Afterward a hotel was conducted in the building by 
various persons. The site is at the corner of Mill and Franklin 

In 1876, George E. "Wilbour made the following remarks in 
regard to his hotel: "I did not keep the first hotel. There were 
three before mine, kept by Leverich, Brown and McKinley. 
McKinley built the first building for hotel purposes erected in 
Austin, on the present site of the Central house. Solomon Snow 
and myself became proprietors of tliis building in 1856, by pur- 
chase, after which it was known as the 'Snow house.' Although 
I was not the first landlord in the place, I represent the first first- 
class hotel. "We had four lodging rooms, and from twenty to 
forty guests every night. To accommodate them we were obliged 
to open 'the school section,' in which were eleven beds. Our beds 
were filled with prairie hay. Our bill of fare Avas pork, biscuit 
and dried apple sauce for breakfast ; fried pork, biscuit and apple 
sauce for dinner; and about the same or some of both for supper. 
But as it was first class, and as I do not wish to misrepresent, 


would say we occasionally had a little fresh beef. From 9 to 12 
o'clock every evening the boys held a literary sociable, consisting 
of original recitations, interspersed Avith more or less music." 

The Windsor House was completed on the site of the old Snow 
house in 1866. It was a frame house, containing forty rooms and 
veneered in brick. The site is now used for business purposes. 

Lacy House. In 1857, J. S. Lacy built the second hotel in the 
town. It was a two-story frame biiilding with an "ell" attached. 
It occupied the present site of the Fleck house. Lacy sold this 
house to Asa Brown, who in the fall of 1865 sold to a man named 
Cole, who in the spring of 1866 sold to Jacob and A. M. Fleck, 
who changed the name to Fleck house, raised the main part of 
the building, and put in a basement and added a story to the "ell" 
part. As thus enlarged it contaiiaed thirty rooms. In 1872 this 
building was destroyed by fire. 

The Fleck House. In 1872, A. M. Fleck erected the Fleck 
house at an expense of $16,000. It replaced the old Fleck house 
which was erected in 1857 as the Lacy house and changed to the 
Fleck house in 1866, being destroyed by fire in February, 1872. 
The edifice is a brick structure and three stories in height above 
the basement. The building is seventy-two feet in length by forty 
feet in width, with a Aving 28 x 32 feet. July 28, 1887, Mr. Fleck 
sold the place to C. G. Ubelar, of Chicago. It passed through 
various hands and is now occupied by the McCulloch printing 

Davidson House. This house Avas built in 1857-58, by Joshua L. 
Davidson, as a private residence. It Avas a commodious house 
and AA-as used by him as a private residence until war times, when 
he made an addition and opened it to the traA'eling public. He 
managed it a year or more, then rented it to J. S. Lacy. In the 
year 1870, Mr. DaA'idson made a large addition to the house. As 
thus enlarged the house contains forty rooms. In 1872, Mr. David- 
son again assumed the management of the house. He died there 
about a year later. This house passed through various hands, 
and Avas conducted for some years by Justice John E. Robinson. 
Later part of it Avas moved to the northAvard by Lyman W. l^aird. 
The Ilirsch block Avas built on the old site. 

Railroad Hotel. This house Avas built by the Chicago, Mihvau- 
kee & St. Paul Raihvay Company in 1872. It is a frame building, 
brick veneered, tliree stories in height, and contains thirty-seven 
rooms. It Avas first managed by John McConnell and Nathan 
Hammond. After one year Hammond sold his interest to Joseph 
McConnell. The jMcConnell brothers Avere succeeded by Ather- 
ton & Sons ; they by SherAvin & French, and they by Hall & Hay, 
Avho managed it from 1881 to 18S4. The lioti'l is at present con- 
ducted })y Mrs. George H. Sutton niul is now known as tlie Depot 


hotel. It has wide patronage, and Mrs. Sutton, who assumed the 
management after the death of her husband, jMajor Sutton, is an 
ideal landlady. 

Mansfield House. The ^lansfield house was built in 1879 by 
J. H. ]\Iansfield and opened by him late that year. It is a frame 
building three stories in height, the front veneered with brick. 
The house contains thirty-five rooms most conveniently arranged. 
It is now knowTi as the Grand hotel and is conducted by B. E. 

The Grand Hotel. This is a commercial and family hotel, well 
situated and Avell conducted. B. E. Shutt, the genial landlord, 
and his wife personally look after the comfort of their guests, and 
the house is popular and well patronized. The rooms are airy, 
well lighted and well kept, and the cuisine is excellent. The hotel 
was originally called the Mansfield house and was built in 1879. 

The Elk Hotel is a modern European hotel. Its rooms are 
well furnished and supplied with running hot and cold water. 
The cafe service is excellent. The hotel is pleasing in appearance, 
both as to interior and exterior, and enjoys a good transient 
patronage. The proprietor is "W. H. Nangle. The Elk hotel is 
located on an historic corner, the site being the location of the old 
Leverieh buildings. The hotel was built in 1909, on the site of a 
livery conducted by B. E. Shutt. Burt Churchill Avas the first 

The Fox Hotel is one of the leading hostelries in Austin. In 
1890, Charles Fox came here and purchased land on the corner 
of Water and Main streets. In 1893 he erected a fine brick hotel 
and opened for business in October of that year. The hotel is 
modern in every particular, and the geniality of the landlord won 
a large patronage. Mr. Fox died in the spring of 1911. The 
appointments of the hotel are excellent and the table and rooms 
are all that could be desired. 

The Harrington Hotel, a modern brick structure, is located 
near the ]\rilwaukee station and occupies the site of a previous 
hotel, which Avas a wooden frame building. The hotel does a 
good business. 

The American House and the Garman House are also num- 
bered among the hotels of Austin. 




P' ^ 








%L ^''^^^^ffi 




i|. ;^JHH 

fe-^'^ '(^^^fl 







Story of the Growth and Development of the Financial Interests 
of the County, Told by Nathan F. Banfield— First Bank in 
the County — Banks of Austin, Grand Meadow, Le Roy, Lyle, 
Adams, Racine, Rose Creek, Dexter, Sargeant, Brownsdale, 
Waltham, Taopi — Summary of Banking Conditions in Mower 

The Bank of Southei'ii Minnesota was established at Austin in 
the early sixties by A. L. Pritchard and A. M. Pett, and con- 
tinued in business for about two years. It was followed in 1866 
by the "Banking and Exchange Office of Harlan W. Page," who 
came to Austin that year from his native state of New Hampshire. 
He conducted this as a private bank for about two years, during 
which time the business increased to such proportions as to 
require additional capital to properly care for the needs of the 
community. In the fall of 1868 he enlisted the interest of ex- 
Governor Samuel Merrill, of Iowa, and his brother, J. H. Merrill, 
of McGregor, Iowa, in organizing a new bank. Associated with 
the Merrills in business at McGregor was Oliver W. Shaw, a 
native of New Hampshire, who had known the Merrill brothers 
and Harlan W. Page at Tamworth, in that state, before coming 
west, and they sent him to Austin to look the field over. After 
doing so he decided to unite with them in the banking business at 
Austin. As a result of his decision and action, the First National 
Bank of Austin, Minn., was incorporated and a charter granted 
to it liy the United States government, October 27, 1868, with a 
paid-in capital of $50,000. It took until the 15th of February 
following to complete the organization details, and on that date 
the new bank opened for business, having bought out and taken 
over the private banking business of Harlan W. Page. The first 
officers were O. W. Shaw, president, and H. W. Page, cashier, 
and they, together with J. H. Merrill, N. P. Austin and E. 0. 
"Wheeler, composed the first board of directors. The site selected 
for the banking house was the northeast corner of Main and 
Bridge streets, which has continued to be the First National Bank 
corner. In ]\I^y, 1870, George F. Trenwith, who had been a book- 
keeper in the bank, was chosen assistant cashier. In January, 
1872, Edward A. Rollins, a capitalist at Philadelphia, and brother- 
in-law of O. W. Shaw, having become a large stockholder, was 
elected a director in place of J. H. Merrill. The bank continued 
under the same management until July 1. 1885, when II. "\V. Page 


disposed of his holdings and resigned as cashier to accept the 
position of financial secretary of Carleton College, at Northfield. 
Minn. He was succeeded as cashier by Nathan F. Banfield, whose 
native place is West Roxbiiry, Mass., and who entered the employ 
of the bank in March, 1879, through his acquaintance with E. A. 
Rollins. He had been appointed assistant cashier in April, 1882, 
and elected a director in January, 1884, succeeding George E. 
Skinner, of St. Paul. In June, 1903, he was appointed vice- 
president and cashier. In May, 1892, Herbert L. Banfield, of 
AYorcester, Mass., who entered the employ of the bank in i\Iarch. 
1886, was appointed assistant cashier, and in January, 1902, was 
elected a director. In November, 1907, Henry J. Drost, a native 
of Holland, was appointed assistant cashier and Avas elected a 
director, he having entered the employ of the bank in April, 1887. 
In 1902, Edward H. Sterling was elected a director, succeeding 
his father, James M. Sterling, Avho had served in that capacity 
for thirteen years, E. H. Sterling having been in the employ of the 
bank since April, 1896. In January, 1909, Nathan F. Banfield, Jr., 
who entered the employ of the bank in August. 1904, was elected 
a director. These men constitute the present officers and directors 
of the bank, and by their faithful and conscientious attention to 
its affairs have contributed in a large measure to its success. 
The organization number of this bank in the national system is 
1690 ; its first charter period of twenty years was renewed Octo- 
ber 27, 1888, and the second, after forty years of business, was 
renewed October 27, 1908, for a third twenty-year period. During 
a career of forty-two years the bank has been most fortunate in 
having as its head and guiding spirit its worthy and beloved presi- 
dent, Oliver "W. Shaw, who is still active in its management. In 
January, 1902, the capital of the bank was increased to $100,000, 
commensurate with the increase in deposits. Its surplus fund is 
also $100,000, and undivided profits are $30,000. The taxes paid 
the county on capital and surplus average about $-±.000, and 
for the year 1910 exceeded $4,200. Interest paid to depositors 
for several years past on time deposits has averaged $15,000 per 
annum. The business has steadily increased until the deposits 
now average more than $900,000, having at certain times in the 
year exceeded $1,000,000. The total resources March 7, 1911, 
date of last report to the comptroller of the currency, reached the 
sum of $1,312,301. Tliese figures show not only the extent to 
which lliis bank ti-ies to fulfill its mission and perform its duty ti) 
the community, the territory properly tributary to it. and its pat- 
rons, wherever they may be, but they also plainly show how m\ich it 
owes to its friends and patrons for their loyalty and confidence 
during these many years. Owing to the fact of having surplus 
and undividi'd ]>r()fits exceeding the capital, it occupies a place on 



the roll of honor of The Financier, a distinction enjoyed by com- 
paratively few banks in the state. In many instances Messrs. 
Shaw and Banfield are doing business with the thirrl generation. 
For this liberal patronage so long continued, they feel grateful 
and express due appreciation and hope to merit its continuation in 
the years to come. 

Several young men who have served the bank for periods 
varying from five to eighteen years, and did their part in pro- 
moting its welfare, have been called to responsible positions in 
other places, and to mention them may not be out of place : F. R. 
Cordley. who became assistant cashier of the National Exchange 
Bank, Boston, now Avith Charles R. Flint & Brother, of New York ; 
T. W. Andrew, who went to the same bank, and is now cashier of 
the First National Bank, Philadelphia; A. "W. Wright, who 
became a lawyer and has been a practicing attorney of this city 
for many years ; J. N. Nicholsen, who also became a lawyer and 
is now a member of the law firm of Catherwood & Nicholsen, of 
this city ; C. J. Sargent, who removed to Red Wing, Minn., where 
he is cashier of the Goodhue County National Bank ; W. E. AYal- 
dron, who went to Billings, Mont., where he is cashier of the 
Yellowstone National Bank ; L. E. Wakefield, who became assist- 
ant cashier of the Northwestern National Bank, of Minneapolis, 
and is now treasurer of the Wells & Dickey Company, of that city. 

The policy of the First National Bank of Austin has always 
been conservative; it has adhered to true banking principles and 
its officers haA'c concentrated their energy and attention to the 
aflFairs of the bank, believing the public approved of that kind of 
management and service ; and the position the bank occupies, and 
the esteem in which it is held at home and Avherever it is known, 
seems to confirm that theory as correct. It has passed safely 
through the panics «of 1873, 1893. 1896 and 1907, and through 
other hard and trying periods ; has always stood for solidity 
and strength, and the people of Austin and Mower county take 
.iustifiablc pride in this sound financial institution that has served 
them so well for forty-two years. The First National Bank is a 
designated depository of the United States and is strictly a home 
l)ank, as its stock is all owned in Austin. The +ast published 
statement of its condition, made to the comptroller of the currency. 
]\rarch 7. 1911, is as follows: 

Resources. — Loans and discounts. $729,32r).98 ; overdrafts. 
.l!3.040.39; IL S. bonds to secure circulation, .'jilOO.OOO; V. S. and 
other bonds, -I?! 37,828.-34 ; banking house. .+18,000; due from banks 
and V. S. treasurer. .$242,356.04; cash on hand, $81,760.40; total, 

Liabilities.— Cai)iti.l paid in. $100,000; surplus fund, $100,000; 


undivided profits, less expenses and taxes, $32,720.26 ; circulation, 
$95,600; deposits, $983,981.39; total, $1,312,301.65. 

The Mower County Bank was organized at Austin shortly after 
the First Xatioual Bank, in the year 1869, by Sylvester Smith, 
formerly county treasurer, of Austin; W. T. Wilkins, formerly 
treasurer of Fillmore comity, of Preston, and J. C. Easton, a 
capitalist of La Crosse, Wis., under the firm name of "Smith, 
"Wilkins & Easton, Bankers." In the year 1882, Mr. Easton with- 
drew from the bank, as well as from numerous other banks in 
which he was interested in towns on the Southern Minnesota rail- 
road; and Sylvester Smith having died, the firm was reorganized 
by W. T. Wilkins and Fay R. Smith, a son of Sylvester Smith, 
who had for some years been identified with the bank under the 
firm name of "Wilkins & Smith, Bankers." They had built up 
a good business and enjoyed a liberal patronage, and their depos- 
its reached a total of $100,000, which was large for that time in 
our history. Owing to unwise management and injudicious invest- 
ments, coupled with the hard times experience at that period, the 
bank failed, June 12, 1886, and passed into the hands of F. I. 
Crane, receiver, who settled up its affairs. 

The Austin State Bank was incorporated by C. H. Davidson, 
G. Schleuder, F. I. Crane and R. E. Shepherd, February 1, 1887, 
with C. H. Davidson, president; R. E. Shepherd, cashier, and 
C. H. Davidson, Jr., assistant cashier. The bank had a paid-in 
capital of $25,000 and opened for business in the building for- 
merly occupied by the Mower County Bank. This was conducted 
as a state bank until September, 1889, when the Austin National 
Bank, of Austin, Minn., Avas organized and succeeded to the busi- 
ness of the Austin State Bank. The first officers and directors 
were : C. H. Davidson, president ; G. Schleuder, vice-president ; 
Henry Birkett. cashier ; R. L. McCormick, R. D. Ilatheway, F. I. 
Crane and C. 11. Davidson, Jr. The capital stock of the bank was 
$50,000 and it first opened for business in the building formerly 
occupied by the Austin State Bank. It occupied those quarters 
until March, 1905, when it moved into its own handsome new 
building at the northwest corner of Main and Bridge streets. 

It has had during its existence but few changes in its official 
corps, its first president being as stated above, who was succeeded 
in 1895 by G. Schleuder. He continued as president until he 
resigned in 1898, when C. H. Davidson again became president. 
On the death of Mr. Davidson in September, 1901, F. I. Crane 
became president and retained that position until January, 1909, 
Avhen he was succeeded by C. II. Ross, of Minneapolis. The present 
officers aiid directors are C. H. Ross, president ; C. II. Davidson, 
Jr., and J. L. :\Ii1ehelI, vice-presidents; P. D. Beaulieu, cashier; 


F. C. Wilbour, assistant cashier. These to^-ether with Klhcl I). 
Mitchell constitute the directorate. 

C. II. Ross became first connected with the institution in 
January, 1909, in his present capacity. C. II. Davidson, Jr., has 
been a director of the bank since its organization, becoming vice- 
president in Januarj', 1909. J. L. Mitchell became assistant 
cashier of the bank in January, 1890, and in December of the 
same year became cashier, holding that position continuously 
until his election as vice-president in January, 1909. P. D. Beau- 
lieu, the cashier, was elected to his office in January, 1909, coming 
to this city from Graceville, Minn. Following is the published 
statement of its condition March 7, 1911 : 

Resources. — Loans and discounts, $232,803.67; overdrafts, 
$902.94; U. S. bonds to secure circulation, $50,000; other bonds, 
securities, etc., $10,751 ; banking house and fixtures, $30,000 ; other 
real estate owned, $55,817.69 ; due from banks and U. S. treasurer, 
$79,901.68 ; cash on hand, $21,747.15 ; total, $131,930.78. 

Liabilities.— Capital paid in, $50,000; surplus fund, $10,000; 
undivided profits, less expenses and taxes, $7,647.19; circulation. 
$48,800; deposits, $315,483.59; total, $431,930.78. 

The Citizens National Bank of Austin was organized in May, 
1893, by C. L. West. J. AV. Scott, M. J. Slaven, Seymour Johnson, 
Jacob "Weisel and L. G. Campbell, and those men constituted its 
first board of directors ; C. L. West being president ; M. J. Slaven, 
vice-president; J. W. Scott, cashier; A. E. Johnson, assistant 
cashier; the capital being $50,000. The bank purchased the 
building at the northwest corner of Main and Mill street, of 
C. L. West, formerly used by him as a dry goods store, which is 
still their banking house. About two years later C. L. West sold 
his interest and retired from the bank. L. D. Baird was chosen 
to succeed him as president and director. He served as such until 
his appointment as national bank examiner, when he sold his 
stock and resigned his position. J. W. Scott was then elected 
president and A. E. Johnson cashier. A. S. Campbell succeeded 
L. G. Campbell as director, the latter having removed to Blooming 
Prairie, Minn. The bank continued under this management until 
in 1902 ]\Iessrs. Seymour Johnson and A. E. Johnson sold their 
stock and withdrew from the bank. B. J. Morey, who had been 
cashier of a bank in Chester, Iowa, was chosen cashier to succeed 
A. E. Johnson, and he and Henry W. Lightly were added to the 
board of directors. In 1903, Jacob Weisel sold his stock and 
resigned as director. J. E. Crippen, who came from Ortonville. 
!Minn., was appointed assistant cashier and became a director soon 
after Mr. Morej^'s connection with the bank. With these officers 
and directors the bank continued until the fall of 1908, when 
^Messrs. Scott, I\Iorey, Slaven and Lightly retired as officers and 


directors and transferred their interests in the bank to Eobert 
Thompson, of Cresco, Iowa, and Lafayette French, P. H. Friend 
and J. D. Sheedj% of Austin, who became directors of the bank. 
In 1909 the control of the bank changed again and passed into 
the hands of H. W. Hurlbut and Sam A. Rask, and they two, 
with A. S. Campbell, Robert Thompson and J. E. Crippen, com- 
pose the present board of directors, with H. "W. Hurlbut, presi- 
dent; A. S. Campbell, vice-president, and J. E. Crippen, assistant 
cashier. Vice-President Campbell is owner of Peerless Mills and 
has been honored by various positions of trust by the people ; is 
now serving as mayor for a second time. The officers are good 
business men, and the bank en.joys liberal patronage and is con- 
servatively managed, as the following last published statement of 
March 7, 1911, shows: 

Resources. — Loans and discounts, $119,552.35 ; overdrafts, 
$2,487.72; U. S. bonds to secure circulation, $50,000; banking 
house and fixtures, $20,326.15 ; due from banks and LL S. treasurer, 
$48,603.89 ; cash on hand, $14,865.25 ; total, $255,834.56. 

Liabilities. — Capital paid in, $50,000; undivided profits, less 
expenses and taxes paid, $2,502.33 ; circulation, $50,000 ; deposits, 
$152,876.82 ; reserve for taxes, $455.41 ; total, $255,834.56. 


The Exchange State Bank. The history of the original bank 
in Grand i\Ieadow is a most unique one, as it was not the inten- 
tion of the originator to go into the banking business. As a mer- 
chant, C. F. Greening was engaged in the hardware business, at 
the same time acting as paymaster for several grain firms. During 
the fall of 1871 he paid his bills by draAving sight drafts on the 
commission men in Milwaukee. In the spring of 1872, having 
been elected to the office of town treasurer of the town of Grand 
Meadow, which then included the town of Clayton, and some 
$1,200 of fluids being turned over to him, he was at a loss what 
to do with the money, not having a safe in which to keep it. 
Being in Austin shortly afterward and transacting business witli 
the First National Bank there, he noticed they used the Union 
National Bank, of Chicago, and the Chemical National Bank, of 
New York, as correspondents. He thought if those two banks 
were good enough for the First National of Austin they Avere 
good enough for him. He at once expressed the town funds to 
tlie Union National Bank as his bank capital, and a check book 
of fifty stamped checks was ordered. He paid eastern bills with 
cheeks on the town money and paid town orders with store money, 
and was now fully equipped to do an exchange business. The 
merchants soon "caught on," and, instead of expressing money 

irisToiJv OF M()\vi:i,' cocN'rv 291 

or registering letters to pay eastern bills, they bought the new 
bank cheeks. The farmers also found it convenient, and some 
little deposits were left with the new bank. A good safe was 
purchased, with time lock, and the bank was then named "The 
Exchange Bank," and the rates then established for exchange 
have never been changed. The Chicago correspondent was not 
changed until the consolidation of the Union National Bank with 
the First National of Chicago, the latter bank having since been 
its Chicago correspondent. For thirty-nine years it has had an 
account with the Chemical National Bank, New York. The bank 
was run in this way until the spring of 1874, when F. K. Warner, 
a brother-in-law of C. F. Greening, was added to the firm and 
the business carried on mider the firm name of Greening & 
Warner's Exchange Bank, until 1882, when C. F. Greening pur- 
chased the interest of Mr. Warner and continued as sole owner 
of the bank. The capital was at this time $5,000, and gradually 
increased until 1906, when it had reached .$25,000. Having grown 
to such proportions, it was deemed expedient to organize as a 
state bank. This was done in December, 1906, and the incorpora- 
tion took effect January 2, 1907, when the doors were opened as 
"The Exchange State Bank." The first officers were: C. F. 
Greening, president ; P. T. Elliott, vice-president ; Elgar F. Green- 
ing, cashier; and they, with S. Y. Hyde, Henry Neumann, E. j\I. 
Hoff, W. D. Lockwood, C. L. Engen, Adolph Stoltz and George 
Kuhn, Sr., constituted the first board of directors. The capital 
stock was $25,000, fully paid in, and the bank opened for business 
in the same building that had been occupied by the Exchange 
Bank for the previous twenty years, at 12 Main street. The 
business increased so rapidly during the first three years after 
incorporation that it was decided to build a new bank, which was 
done during the year 1910, on the corner of Main and Second 
streets. The new building, costing over $12,000, was occupied on 
the 14th day of December, 1910, a beautiful structure, modern 
in all particulars, built of Indiana Oriental brick and Lake Supe- 
rior sandstone, 26% x 75 feet, full two stories and basement, 
with hot water heating plant, storage vault below, two vaults on 
the main floor, one for customers' safe deposit boxes, the other 
for the bank cash and books. The safe is one of the latest 
improved manganese steel, screw door, triple time lock safes, 
weighing nearly a ton and a half. In addition, the vault is 
protected with the electric alarm system. 

The present officers are: C. F. Greening, president; P. T. 
Elliott, vice-president ; E. F. Greening, casliier, wlio has held tluit 
office over twenty-one years, or since he was sixteen years of age, 
being at that time the j'oungest cashier of a bank in the state of 
^Minnesota. The present directors are C. F. Greening, P. T. Elliott, 


E. F. Greening, C. L. Engeu, Adolph Stoltz, Henry Neumann, 
W. D. LockAvood, W. R. Peyton, August Detloff. Sr., Frank S. 
Ilambleton and Andrew Lybeek. 

The present capital is $25,000; surplus, $4,000; undivided 
profits. $1,964.78. The following is a statement of the bank as 
reported to the superintendent of banks on March 7, 1911: 

Resources. — Loans and discounts, $177,381.28; overdrafts, 
$808; bonds and premiums, $16,320; banking house and fixtures, 
$13,697.78 ; other real estate, $1,625 ; due from banks, $50,593.23 ; 
cash on hand. $6.807.10 ; total, $267,232.39. 

Liabilities.— Capital stock, $25,000 ; surplus, $4,000 ; undivided 
profits, $1,964.78; deposits, $236,267.61 ; total, $267,232.39. 

The capital of the bank remains the same as when incorporated 
and has made annual dividends of six per cent, besides accumu- 
lating a surplus and undivided profits of $5,964.78 in its four 
years of life as a state bank. The policy of the bank has been to 
render to the community all the usual facilities of a conservative 
country bank, buying and selling exchange, making loans, col- 
lecting and discounting notes and securities, fire and insurance 
agents, selling passage tickets to and from Europe, and all other 
business incident to banking. The bank does a safe, conservative 
business and points with pride to the record of thirty-nine years 
since its inception ; that it has always met every demand on pre- 
sentation ; that it has never limited a depositor in his withdrawals, 
but paid in full on demand, during panics and financial fli;rries, 
Avhen many others did not. It is not one of the "get rich quick" 
style of banks, but, like the walls of its new home, is one of the 
permanent fixtures of Grand Meadow; and of the sixteen banks 
in Mower county it stands sixth as to capital and surplus, third 
as to deposits and loans and discounts, and fourth as to total 

The Bank of Grand Meadow was organized as a private bank 
ill the early seventies by IL M. Lovell, a merchant of that place, 
and J. C. Easton, of La Crosse, Wis., who was interested in a line 
of banks along the Southern Minnesota railroad. It was managed 
by II. M. Lovell as cashier. This was continued for about ten 
years, until J. C. Easton withdrew as a partner from the banks 
with which he was connected, and H. M. Lovell not caring to 
continue in the business, it was discontinued, Mr. Lovell devoting 
his attention to his mercantile business in the firm of Lovell & 
Sheldon, and to his land interests, the Exchange Bank then 
oci-upying tlie field alone. 

First National Bank of Grand Meadow. In 1904 the First 
National P.aiik of Grand ^Meadow was organized by R. E. Crane, 
G. A. Wright, Benjamin AVriglit, W. H. Goodsell and F. M. 
Higbio, the first two named being president and cashier respec- 


tively. Capital, $25,000. They built a convenient banking house 
on the southeast corner of Main and Second streets, and while 
thought by some at the time of its organization there would 
hardly be a field for two banks, they have worked up a very 
satisfactory business, the other bank in Grand Meadow having 
at the same time made a steady growth, thus showing the thriving 
condition of the village and the prosperity prevailing in the 
counti-y tributary. R. E. Crane has been succeeded as president 
by Benjamin AVright, and he with W. H. Goodsell, vice-president, 
G. A. Wright, cashier, and C. W. Higbie, assistant cashier, com- 
pose the present officers. They have a surplus of $4,000 ; average 
deposits, $120,000; average loans and discounts, $125,000, and, 
considering the time the bank has been in business, it is making a 
very creditable growth. 


In the early seventies a private bank was established at Le 
Roy by G. L. Henderson & Co., bankers, known as the Le Roy 
Bank. After a few years of not very active life it proved unsuc- 
cessful and went out of business. It was followed by the banking 
house of D. C. Corbitt, who conducted it until in the early nine- 
ties, when he was succeeded by Strong, Farmer & Edwards, of 
Spring Valley, Minn., a firm of private bankers, under the name 
of Bank of Le Roy. This in turn was succeeded in 1893 by the 
First National Bank of Le Roy, of which Wentworth Hayes was 
president. M. T. Dunn, cashier, and A. J. Hayes, assistant cashier. 
The bank has a capital of .$25,000; surplus and undivided profits. 
$15,000; average deposits, $150,000, and average loans and dis- 
counts of $150,000. Its present officers are W. K. Porter, presi- 
dent ; M. J. Hart, vice-president ; A. J. Hayes, cashier ; Lynn A. 
Porter, assistant cashier; M. T. Dunn having sold his interest in 
the bank and removed to Brainerd, Minn., to engage in the 
banking business at that place. It is a successful, conservatively 
managed bank, and has a good record and standing in the 

In May, 1901, John Frank, C. Hambrecht, S. Englesen, W. M. 
Frank, William Allen and F. E. Hambrecht entered the banking 
business in Le Roy under the firm name and style of "Citizens 
Bank," which they conducted as a private bank until January, 
1904, when they incorporated the First National Bank of Le Roy, 
into which the business of the Citizens Bank was merged, and 
of which William Allen was president; C. IIaml)recht, vice-presi- 
dent; W. M. Frank, cashier; Merrill Bowers, a.ssistant cashier. 
The bank owns its building; has a capital of $25,000; surplus artd 
undivided profits of $10,000; average deposits, $175,000; average 
loans, discounts and bonds, $165,000. Tiie general policy of the 


bank is conservative and aggressive. It is ably managed by its 
strong directorate and present officers, the latter being C. Ham- 
breeht, president ; F. E. Hambreclit, vice-president ; W. M. Frank, 
cashier ; Merrill Bowers, assistant cashier ; and is liberally patron-" 
ized, as the above figures indicate. 


In 1892, A. H. Anderson opened the Exchange Bank of Lyle, 
of -which he was sole proprietor and which he conducted as a 
private bank for nine years. During the early part of that time 
the business Avas moderate in volume, but gradually increased 
until in January, 1901, it had increased to such an extent that it 
was deemed advisable to incorporate the business and increase 
the capital. Accordingly, the First National Bank of Lyle was 
organized in January, 1901, by A. H. Anderson, L. W. Sherman, 
F. M. Beach, A. B. Wilder, John Beach and J. H. Goslee, all of 
these men being the first board of directors, the officers being as 
follows: A. H. Anderson, president; L. W. Sherman, vice-presi- 
dent; F. M. Beach, cashier. In 1908, Miss J. C. Reirson became 
assistant cashier. The bank owns its banking house, at the corner 
of First and Grove streets. The present officers are F. M. Beach, 
president; L. W. Sherman, vice-president; R. A. Anderson, cash- 
ier, and J. C. Reirson, assistant cashier. The directors elected 
at the last annual meeting were F. M. Beach, L. W. Sherman, 
R. A. Anderson, A. B. "Wilder and B. J. Robertson. The capital 
is $25,000 ; surplus and undivided profits, $10,000 ; average depos- 
its, $215,000; total resources, $260,000. It is an ably managed 
bank, has been successful during its entire career, and has well 
earned the confidence of the public. 


The tliriving village of Adams having been without banking 
facilities until 1898, in January of that year Mrs. Sophronia Dean, 
of Northfield, Minn., and J. G. Schmidt, a banker of that place, 
together with William W. Dean, opened a private bank known 
as the Bank of Adams, owned and operated by Dean, Schmidt & 
Dean, with William W. Dean resident partner and active manager. 
They purchased a lot and built an attractive, convenient banking 
house, which they occupied as soon as completed. The business 
was conducted as a private bank until January, 1906, when the 
First National Bank of Adams was organized, into which the 
private bank was merged. Its first officers were J. G. Schmidt, 
president; W. W. Dean, cashier. Upon the retirement of J. G. 
Schmidt, I\rrs. S. Dean was chosen to succeed him. The present 


officers and directors are as follows: Mrs. S. Dean, president; 
Michael Krebsbach, vice-president; W. W. Dean, cashier; A. J. 
Krobsbach, assistant cashier; and L. H. Carter, John II. Krebs- 
bach and Warren H. Dean. The bank has a capital of $25,000; 
surplus, $5,000; average deposits, $215,000; total resources, 
$270,000. The First National Bank has been an important factor 
in promoting the growth of Adams, has been a successful institu- 
tioUj^aud has the confidence of the public. 


This A'illage, located in the northeastern township of tlie 
county, was without local banking facilities until the year lS!)cS, 
when the "Bank of Racine," a private institution, was opened by 
Silas Utzinger, C. F. Kumm and S. H. Hale, the active manager 
being Silas Utzinger. In February, 1908, this private bank was 
converted into the Racine State Bank, Avhich was incorporated 
at that time by the same interests. The business has steadily 
grown in volume, the bank now having capital of $15,000, sur- 
plus $2,000, and average deposits $75,000. The present officers 
and directors are Silas Utzinger, president ; Chris Schwartz, vice- 
president ; R. "W. Chadwick, cashier; E. G. Utzinger, assistant 
cashier, and C. H. Stephan, S. J. Sanborn, J. G. Schroeder and 
J. F. Bollinger. Owing to their geographical location, many of 
Iheir customers are residents of the adjoining counties of Fill- 
more and Dodge. The bank has been a large factor in develop- 
ing tlie interests of this prosperous community and enjoys a high 


Augustus Vaux, a lumber merchant of Rose Creek, in company 
'"ith F. M. Beach, John Cronan, C. ^^\ Lacy and E. W. Decker, 
opened the Bank of Rose Creek, a private institution, with F. M. 
Beach, president ; John Cronan, Aace-president, and Augustus 
Vaux, cashier, in the year 1902. These persons sold their inter- 
ests in the liauk to ]\Ir3. S. Dean, William W. Dean and Warren 
H. Dean in February, 1906, and they conducted it as a private 
institution until ]\larcli. 1908, when it was incorporated as the 
"State Bank of Rose Creek." The following were elected officers 
at tliat time and liave been re-elected annually: ^Irs. S. Dean, 
president; John Cronan, vice-president; W. II. Dean, cashier. 
The bank occupies its own building erected in l*t()2. 

The following is a statement of the condition of the State Hnnk 
of Rose Creek at the last call on ]March 7, 1911 : 

Resources. — i.oans ;ui(l disenunls, $85,;i()5..'5() ; overdrafts, 
$(;7<i.l2; r. S. and otlier lioiids, $12.iM)n; l.aidsing house and fix- 


tures, $5,085.21 ; cash on baud and in other banks, $27,596.75 ; 
total, $130,723.38. 

Liabilities. — Capital stock, $10,000; surplus and undivided 
prolits, $1,646.97; deposits, $119,076.41; total, $130,723.38. This 
J)ank is closely connected with the First National Bank of Adams, 
having substantially the same shareholders, and the foregoing 
figures tell their own story of the growth and healthy condition 
of the bank. 


In October, 1902, F. C. Hartshorn, of Clarion, Iowa, who had 
bought several farms in the vicinity of Dexter, together with his 
son-in-law, D. L. Mills, and Lee T. Jester, of Grand Meadow, 
organized a private bank known as the Bank of Dexter, with 
$25,000. They built a handsome, convenient banking house, and 
under the management of D. L. Mills as cashier, conducted the 
bank for four years, during which time they worked up a good 
business. In January, 1907, they sold the business to G. A. 
AA^right and W. A. Nolan, of Grand MeadoAV, and Henry "VVeber, 
Jr., F. M. Conklin and G. J. Schottler, of Dexter, Avho incorpo- 
rated the business under the name of the First State Bank of 
Dexter, with the above named gentlemen as directors, G. A. 
Wright being president and F. M. Conklin, cashier. About two 
years ago the stock held by Grand ]\Ieadow people, represented 
by Messrs. Wright and Nolan, was sold and they retired from 
the bank. Its present officers are Henry AVeber, Jr., president ; 
G. J. Schottler, vice-president; F. M. Conklin, cashier; Theodore 
Kramer, assistant cashier. Capital $10,000; surplus, $2,500; 
average deposits, $80,000. The bank is i\-e]] patronized and doing 
a successful business. 


The Bank of Sargeant was organized as a private bank by 
McD. AVilliams, of Dodge Center, and Thomas Doig, of Claremont, 
and F. W. Blanch, son-in-law of the latter, they three being, 
respectively, president, vice-president and cashier, who conducted 
it until its sale in 1906 to W. G. Shaffer, of New Hampton, Iowa ; 
W. H. Schoonmacher and F. AV. Smock, of Riceville, Iowa, who 
incorporated it as the State Bank of Sargeant, witli AY. G. Shaft'er, 
president, and F. AA^. Smock, cashier, the latter being the resident 
and active officer of tlie bank. It has a capital of $10,000; surplus 
and profits, $2,000; average deposits, $35,000. The bank occupies 
its ov.'n building, having erected a new banking office two years 
ago. Its owners ar" connected with banking interests in lowii 
and stand highly in ib'-ir respective communities. It does a 


general baukiug, collection and real estate business, its lerritory 
extentiing into the adjoining county of Dodge. 


The Bank of Erownsdale was organized as a private bank in 
February, 1904. with $.").000 capital, the co-partners being N. K. 
Dahle, AVilliani AVaterraan, J. H. Ruprecht, M. Stephenson and 
W. G. Weisbeciv, the first two named being president and cashier 
respectively. In January, 1905, William "Waterman resigned as 
cashier, sold his interest in the bank and removed to Nebraska. 
George M. Shortt Avas chosen cashier to succeed him. In Feb- 
ruary, 1908, having run as a private bank for four years,, the 
business was incorporated and the name adopted was the State 
Bank of Brownsdale. Its present oflicers are N. K. Dahle, presi- 
dent ; M. Stephenson, vice-president ; George M. Shortt, cashier, 
and they, together with F. E. Gerbig and W. G. AVeisbeck, con- 
stitute its present board of directors. It has a capital of $10,000 ; 
surplus, $1,100 ; average deposits, $50,000. It is a prudently man- 
aged institution, and the progress it has made reflects credit upon 
its officers and is evidence of the prosperity of the community it 


The Bank of Waltham, a private bank, Avas opened by Vebleu, 
Rask and company, in 1903, Avith a capital of $10,000; 0. A. 
Veblen, president; O. P. Rask, vice-president, both of Blooming 
Prairie, Minn., and at that time connected Avith the First National 
Bank of that place, and C. E. Sanders, cashier. It Avas so con- 
ducted until June, 1908, Avhen the Waltham State Bank Avas 
incorporated, taking over the business of the Bank of Waltham, 
A. A. Morsching having succeeded C. E. Sanders as cashier. 
Built and owns its banking house ; is located in a thrifty German 
settlement and doing a safe and satisfactory business. Has a 
capital of $10,000; surplus, $2,000; average deposits, $40,000. 
Present officers are 0. A. Veblen, of Minneapolis, president ; J. A. 
Stephan, vice-president; L. S. Chapman, cashier; W. A. Clui])man. 
assistant cashier, all Avell and favorably knoAvn, and the pub- 
lished statements of the liank shoAV it to be in a prosperous 


In the spring of 1906 L. E. Bourquin, of Butler county, Iowa, 
believing Taopi afforded a favoraldc opening for a l)ank. decided 
to locate there, and in ^lay of that year oi)ened a private bank 
called the -'Bank of Taopi,"' in the Aliemaii store Imiiding. whiT(> 


they transacted business until the completion of the two-story 
brick banking house erected that summer. In IMarch, 1908, the 
bank was converted into a stat? organization, adopting as its 
corporate name "The First State Bank of Taopi," the incorpo- 
rators being W. F. Jordan, Tliomas Kough, P. J. Peterson and 
L. E. Bourquin, with P. J. Peterson, president ; Thomas Kough, 
vice-president ; L. E. Bourquin, cashier, and A. J. Bourquin, 
assistant cashier. In October, 1910, L. E. Bourquin sold his 
interest to G. W. Pitts, vice-president of the Bank of North- 
Avestern Iowa, at Alton, in that state, and his son, G. S. Pitts, of 
the same place, who then assumed the management of the bank. 
Directors are P. J. Peterson, W. F. Jordan, Thomas Kough, G. W. 
Pitts and G. S. Pitts, and the officers are G. W. Pitts, president ; 
Thomas Kough, vice-president ; G. S. Pitts, cashier, and Gladys 
C. Pitts, assistant cashier. 

The last statement made to the superintendent of banks ]\larcl! 
7, 1911, is as folloAvs : 

Resources. — Loans and discounts, .^20,374. 79 ; bank building 
and fixtures, $4,300; cash and due from banks, $10,475.17; other 
resources, $77.27; total, $35,227.23. 

Liabilities. — Capital stock, $10,000 ; surplus, $500 ; deposits, 
$24,727.23 ; total, $35,227.23. 

G. W. Pitts purchased about 2,500 acres of what is known as 
the "Big Taopi Farm," and has erected new farm buildings on 
some of the places, and is subdividing the large tract into smaller 
farms, and is active in promoting the interests of that locality. 

The Mower County Transcript, one of the oldest newspapers 
published in Austin, for some time past has collected the state- 
ments of the ditferent banks in the county and from them has 
compiled a condensed statement of all the banks, showing their 
capital and surplus, deposits, loans and discounts, and total 
resources. The one taken from the last reports, made March 7, 
1911, in response to the call made by the comptroller of the cur- 
rency to the national banks, and by the superintendent of banks 
to the state banks, is as follows : 

Condition of Banks of Mower County, Minnesota, March 7, 1911. 

fupita: an.l T.ital I.oins and 


First National, Austin $ 232.720.26 

.\ustin National, Austin 67.047.1!) 

Pitizens National, Austin r.2,n02.3.'5 

First State, I.eRoy .Xi.OOO.OO 

First National, LeRoy 30,000.00 

First National, Grand Meadow. 2».63o.7.'> 

ExchanBe State, Grand Meadow 29,000.00 

First National, Lyle 33.223.28 

First National, Adams 30,000.00 

First State, Rose Creek 11,200.00 

State Bank, Brownsdale 11,000.00 

First State, Dexter 12.,->00.00 

Waltham State. Waltham 12.200.(10 

State Bank, SarKeant 12.000.00 

Racine State Bank. Racine 37,000.00 

First State, Taopi 10.000.00 

Totals * (i2,VrTn".71 .$3,072,120.31 *.3,Sm4,4.3.-..69 .$2,389,885.1)0 






$ 729.325.08 









151, 219,59 



2:;:'. t.w, mi 

lis, .-.(111. 57 




173. ',1011. (17 

























Reminiscences of Mrs. Lyman A. Sherwood— Trip From Winona— 
Incidents on the Way — Arrival in Austin — Austin as a 
Pioneer Village — Fourth of July Celebration — Incidents of 
the Early Days — Life in "Old Headquarters"— Work on the 
Cemetery — Off for the Civil War — Indian Scare — Other 

Austin is fortunate in having as a resident one who came here 
as a girl, and has lived through the events wliieh have made 
Austin what it is today. Spriglitly as a woman half her years, it 
seems almost impossible that she saw Austin when but a cluster 
of houses existed here. There have been few movements in 
which she has not taken a part, and she is still in the prime of 
her activities, loved by the few left Avho knew her as a girl, and 
revered and held in the deepest affection by the younger genera- 
tion. The following article by Mrs. L. A. Sherwood, formerly 
.Vita Belle Albro, contains a few of her experiences, the hearing 
of which when she consents to tell them gives so much pleasure 
to her friends. 

"Reminiscing" I find rather difficult, especially where on;i is 
writing for others to read. The events of the past come crowding 
so thick and fast that it is hard to clioose that wliicli will be the 
most interesting. I find myself going back to the beginning, or 
rather to the time Avhen the J. L. Davidson family, consisting 
of father, mother and six children (the eldest brother being at 
Oberlin college at the time), moved from AVinona, Minnesota, to 
Austin. Moving in those days was not "altogether a thing of 
beauty and a joy forever." There were no railroads and no easy 
transportations. One thing we did have, and that was bad 
roads and plenty of them. Having had a good bit of travel, for a 
child of my age, before coming to Minnesota, both by rail and 
l)oat, I was anticipating a great deal of pleasure in having a 
four-day trip "overland." We were not going in a "prairie 
Schooner" or with oxen, as many did. We had fine horses, and 
with a part of our household goods well packed in two respect- 
able looking wagons, and the two cows tied behind, we made a 
very good appearance. It was on AVednesday, tlie 24th day of 
31ay. 1857, that we left AVinona for Austin. Fatlier couldn't talk 
of anything else. It was going to l)e another Cliicago right away. 
Getting started rather late in the afternoon, we only went as far 
as Stockton the first dav. 1 remember what a cosv little nest it 


looked, nestled in among the hills. 1 thought I wouldn't mind 
staying there always. The weather was beautiful — birds wort- 
singing, tiowers springing up all around, and the grass was liko 
velvet, and I can remember as we drove along the next day how 
I enjoyed the winding up and down, in and out, around and 
about of that road that led us over the bluffs "and far away."' 
We were to leave the bluffs Thursday, and I was enjoying every 
minute of the time. We had our lunch at noon in a beautiful 
spot between two bluffs. I had wanted several times during tlu' 
forenoon to get down from the load and gather flowers, but no ! 
there was no time for that ; we were moving. So I made a hasty 
meal at luncheon time and spent the rest of the time we were 
to stop in gathering the flowers and moss I had so much wanted. 
As we rode along on our "winding way" we could often touch 
the bluffs on one side, while on the other look way, way down, 
two or three hundred feet or more, and just discern a little stream, 
trickling along, singing its own little song. When we were on 
the top of one bluff we could look across and see where we would 
be on the next one if we ever got there. I had been cautioned 
when Ave started about sitting very still when I Avas on the load 
alone, for the seat was just laid on, and so far I think I must 
have remembered to "sit still," for nothing had happened. We 
were on the top of the last bluff. The road down was very steep. 
Father called and said "The wheels must be chained." So Ave 
stopped, brother got down from the Avagon, and I was thinking 
hoAv would we ever get down that hill, with the wheels chained, 
and I Avanted to see how they chained the Avheels. So I leaned over 
the side and down I Avent, and the next thing I knew I Avas going 
doAvn hill at quite a speed. I Avas frightened, of course, but I luid 
learned to roll down hill wiien quite a little girl at Susan B. 
Anthony's beautiful home, Avhere I used often to vist with my 
mother, and I thought as I found myself going doAA'n, "If I can 
only steer aAvay from those big rocks perhaps I Avon't get hurt." 
However, I think I must have been too much frightened to steer 
straight, for I was soon caught in a clump of bushes. I picked 
myself up and climbed to the top of tlie hill. iMotlier Avas so 
frightened Avhen she saAV me fall tluit she jumped from the 
wagon, forgetting all about the bird cage which she Avas carrying 
and had dropped. She Avas going after me. Father saw I Avould 
soon be in those bushes. So he held her back. After they found 
1 Avas not liurt and the birds safe, they had a good laugh, very 
nuich at my expense, I am afraid. The Avheels Avere cliained and 
motlier and I Avere back in our places. Father told rae that here- 
after I had better keep my face to the front and my eyes looking 
straiglil jilipad. The idea of giving a child, and a girl at that. 
sucli ail order! Regardless of the chained Avheels, we reached 


the bottom of the hill in safety. The horses pricked up their 
ears and started otf on a brisk trot. It looked like fair sailing 
now, and as we had left the birds behind (except our own) we 
began singing ourselves to while away the time. After a while 
we began having little patches of mud. Then there were more 
of them. They were larger, and deeper. The wagon would go up 
on one side and down on the other. I was beginning to wonder 
how father expected me to keep my face to the front and eyes 
looking straight ahead, or stay on the wagon either, but I hung 
on to something and did the best I could, for I hadn't had a father 
A-ery long, and I confess I was a little bit afraid of him. Finally 
these mud holes were so bad we couldn't get through them with 
one team, so it took the four horses to pull the load through, then 
they would go back and get the other load, and that is the way 
it was the most of the time till we reached High Forest Friday 
night. All this while we had had beautiful weather, but Saturday 
morning there was a change. Clouds began coming. It wasn't 
quite as warm, but we started bright and early, for it was our 
last day. About 10 o'clock it was raining hard and growing 
colder. The rain changed to snow and sleet. By noon we could 
hardly see the horses, and they finally stopped and refused to 
go any further. There we were, on that bleak prairie, not a tree 
or shrub of any kind in sight, and not a house. There was one 
''lone tree," as it was called, somewhere, but nowhere near us. 
Anyone who has never crossed that prairie, in the old days, com- 
ing from Winona to High Forest, don't know what they have 
missed. As the horses wouldn't go another step, we concluded 
to stay, too, and make ourselves as comfortable as possible. The 
wagons were put together in shape of a "V," the cows tied close 
behind and the hoi'ses close to the wagon box in front. Our 
bedding was put in the corner and mother, Delia (sister) and T 
and the birds were in and covered up with more bedding, and 
told to keep still. We had tried to eat our lunch, but were so 
cold it Avas impossible. I don't know just how long avc stayed 
there. If seemed a very long time to me, probably an hour and a 
half, when one of the boys said he believed he heard an empty 
wagon coming. The storm was beginning to pass aAvay. and 
soon a man with an empty wagon stopped beside us. He said he 
was going our way, and the women folks could be put into his 
wagon. This was done, bedding under us and bedding over us. 
He said he had only to stop at Pierson's a minute, then he could 
go right on. When the wagon stopped we knew we must be at 
Pierson's. A man came to the wagon and said, "What you got, 
Col])y, a load of hogs?" and began lifting the quilts. Very sud- 
denly the quilts Av<'re dropped and we concluded the man didn't 
like the looks of Colby's pork. Our stop was very sliort and we 


•were soon on the way again. ]\Ir. C'olhy, the gentleman who had 
befriended ns, lived two miles out of Brownsdale, towards Aus- 
tin. AVhen wr reaehed his house we found it was tive o"eloek. 
Fatlier ajid the boys came a Avhile after with the teams. It was so 
late in the afternoon Mr. Colby thoutilit we had better stay 
there till Monday, which we did. and were very grateful for the 
kind otfer. AVe thought we never would get warm again. The 
Colby home consisted of one room down stairs and one above. 
There were three children-in the Colby family. Thinking of our 
stay there in after years, I wondered how they managed to stow 
us ail away at night, but they did, and Sunday afternoon there 
was a Methodist class meeting there. "We could do anything in 
these days. 

Leaving the Colby family, whose hospitality we were so grate- 
ful for, we reached Austin Monday morning al)out ten o"eloek, 
the twenty-ninth day of May, 1857. We came into town by the 
"Old Territorial road," now known as "Lansing avenue."' AVe 
had a very good view of our future home. At the head of Main 
street, where the Fox residence is, was the home of L. N. Griffith. 
. To the Avest on "Water street, where the George Hormel residence 
is, was the home of the Rev. Stephen Cook. That completed the 
houses of any description west of Main street. ]\Iain street at that 
time was nothing but hazel brush. There were no streets. One 
could go where one chose. "We drove to the hotel kept by Snow 
& AVilbour, the only hotel in the town, located on ]\Iill street, on 
the site of the Williams house. To go the same way today would 
take us through Murphey's dry goods store and tlie meat market 
of John Briebach. Across from the hotel there were two or three 
small buildings, one occupied by Yates & Lewis as a store. Dr. 
Orlenzer Allen, the father of Dr. A. W. Allen, now here, luul ;i 
drug store in the same building. A little further east on the 
south side of the street, where the German hotel now stands, was 
a log building, the home and store of Fathei- Brown. Water 
street had a few buildings. J. C. Ackley lived where the express 
ofifice now is, or a lot below. Then there were perhaps half a 
dozen more going toward the river. A Mr. "Walters lived in one. 
A Mr. Brown lived in another. Esquire Sylvester Smith and Dr. 
and Lawyer Allen lived in others. Possibly tliere were a few 
(itliers. "i'liei'e were three houses on Chatham street, where tlie 
Elk hotel now stands. K. L. Kimble and his brother had a liard- 
wai'e store in the first. The postoffice was also there, and llie 
family lived in the second floor. The next store was that of 
Sprague & ITanchett. The last was the home of Chauncey Lev- 
ericli. I lliiiik these were all the buildings with the exception. 
jiossilily, of one or two others right in the same vicinity. 1 liad 
lal<en llieiii all in while wailing for father and mother to decide 

HISTORY OF :\r0WElJ COUNTY ;'.<)•'> 

what to do about ri'inaining at the liotel. Of course' 1 tlid iu)t 
then kuoAv the naiiu's of the people, but learned them afterward. 

And I am reminded right liere how the first Dr. Allen hap- 
pened to make his home in Austin. In the fall of 1856 he started 
from his home in Wisconsin with his wife and son George for 
Faribault to locate. Coming by way of McGregor, they i-cachcd 
Austin In- night. So they were obliged to stay here until tlic 
next day. The hotel was so full they could not be accommodated 
there. Mr. Snow took them over to a Mr. Brown's, son of the 
merchant, living on Water street, where the large double house 
now stands. Tliey found they could have a room for the night. 
Tliey had been there but a few minutes when a man came for the 
doctor to pull a tooth. This he did for fifty cents. The next 
morning, while at breakfast, a man drove up to the door in great 
haste. He said he had heard that there was a physican there. 
He wanted him to go and see his wife, who was very ill. The 
doctor being a very kind-hearted man, could not refuse. So he 
went and did not go on his way to Faribault, as he had intended, 
tlie next day. The result of this hurry call was that Mower 
county had one more voter, and Dr. Allen decided to remain in 
Austin, where it was apparent he was very much needed. Thus 
he became our first physician and remained here for many years, 
finally going back to AVisconsin, where lie felt that his duty 
called him. When he left here he retained his property, thinking 
to return. The time, however, never came, as he was called to 
his eternal home. His son came a few years later, bringing the 
dear mother with him. Mrs. Allen was one of our first callers, 
and the friendship begun in those early days continued until the 
day of her death, which was only four or five years ago, when she 
was in her eighty-second year. 

"But to resume," as "Samanthy"' says. We found after 
going into the house that the people were glad to see us and glad 
that we had come to town. But it was Monday morning, the 
house was full and there was not much to eat, and to have seven 
more come to dinner looked like a mountain to Mrs. Snow, as 
she confided to us after we became better acquainted. We decided 
to go over to the house. Father had bought a piece of salt pork 
and potatoes from Mr. Colby, we had brought some provisions 
with us, and thus could get om- own dinner. So we started cross- 
lots again through hazel brush and I am afraid right through 
"The First National Bank." But that did not matter in those 
days. On reaching the building, mother did not know whether 
to laugh or to cry. H looked like a great barn. The front below 
was not inclosed. The stairs were on the outside. On going 
ui)stairs we found one large room. Not a word was said, but 1 
tliink father must have Iciiowii liow wi' felt, for lie said: "Well. 


this is the only place. We'll have to stay here till the house is 
ready for us." Sis said: "Every back is fitted for its burden," 
so w.e went to work. The stove was immediately set up ; by noou 
the table was set, and a good dinner ready to be eaten, and what 
is more, seven hungry people ready to eat. By night we had a 
very comfortable looking home. Carpets and sheets were used for 
partitions, and if we didn't have all the comforts of life, we had 
a place to stay. 

We had brought with us quite a supply of provisions, half 
barrel of butter, sacks of codfish, coflt'ee and everything in that 
line, for father said it would be hard to get things to eat. What 
we wanted most was fresh meats. Once in a while a farmer would 
sell a pig, but unless one had ordered it or happened to get to the 
man first when he came to town, one was not so sure of getting a 
piece. The farmers hadn't many pigs to kill, and beef was out 
of the question. Callers began coming the very next day after 
our arrival. AVe thought it very kind in them to come and not 
to be formal about calling, and then they had a curiosity to see 
how we looked. They had been here all winter long and not a 
new arrival. We found there was another reason in several 
cases. Mrs. Kimbal was the first to come. How well I remember 
her — her black eyes snapping, with the fun that was in her. 
She stayed quite a while. Finally she said I like the looks of 
those cows about as much as anything; don't you think you could 
let me have milk right along? There was no reason why we 
could not, so mother said yes, she could have it by the quart, 
brother didn't know how much it would be as yet. ]Mrs. Kimbal 
said she had been paying ten cents a quart all the time ; that Avas 
what everybody paid. Mother thought if that was the case, 
that's what we would charge, but it was terrible. The callers 
didn't always want something to eat, but when they did they 
knew they could have it. The boys were going to Winona every 
week for lumber for the house, and they could always bring out 
supplies of some kind, and in this we all did quite a bit of trading, 
which finally led to our having a store of our own. No man 
would go to the "river"' for goods of any kind unless others were 
going. It wasn't safi>. Tlie roads were in such a terrible condi- 
tion the of the time that they might find themselves going 
lo China, and no one to help. So if there wasn't two teams to go 
no one went, or it was very seldom one would start out alone. 
And it was so easy to get out of things. One little incident T must 
mention. Father came in one day and said : "Wife, have you any 
darning needles?" Mother answered : '"* Yes, two or three. Why, 
did you want them?" "No, T was just down to Brown's store; a 
man from tlic country caiiic in for supplies, among tlicni darning 
needles. Mr. Brown had but two; llie man wanted both. .Air. 


Brown woiildu't let him have both; it woukl break his assort- 
ment, and besides someone else might want one. I lliought if you 
didn't have any, I'd go and get that one." 

The second Sunday we were here there was a terrific storm 
came up in the afternoon. It came so quickly there was no time 
to think what to do. We were all outdoors, mother, Delia and I. 
We hurried upstairs as fast as possible, but could hardly get up, 
the wind was so bad. We were in just in time to see the west 
windows blown in. We couldn't keep the door shut, so I found 
a stick and braced it against the door, then sat on it to keep it 
in place. Milk pans were blown otf, shelves and everything went 
lielter skelter. We expected the house would go over. The men 
couldn't get upstairs, and they expected every minute to see the 
building go over. Galloway 's new building blew down ; also Mr. 
Ackley's new house, which was being built where the "Hub" 
building now stands, was blown down, but we were spared any 
serious accident. Every one in town was ready to come to our 
assistance and vras watching our building till the storm had 

We had a Fourth of July, too, that first summer. The exer- 
cises were held somewhere near Kenwood avenue, west, under 
the beautiful oaks, which at that time might have been taken for 
a good sized orchard. We had a "fife and drum" to head the 
procession. Esquire Smith was president of the day. Judge Allen 
read the Declaration of Independence, Rev. Mr. Gurney gave the 
address, Rev. Cook offered the prayers, and the singing was what 
might have been expected from a much larger town. The singers 
were Wm. Cook, John F. Cook, Rufus Kimble, John Hallot, 
Quincy Andrews, Mrs. Dr. Wheat, Mrs. R. Kimble, Mrs. J. L. 
Davidson and Hattie Adams. I was too small to be in the chorus, 
but my hoop skirt was there, borroAved for the occasion and worn 
by one of the ladies. 

Flowers decked the speakers' stand, ciilled from nature's 
green house. Everything had passed oft' finely. They had come 
to the end of the program when the president arose to make his 
last remarks, closing by saying, "We have been hearing about 
all kinds of institutions this morning, now we will adjourn to the 
bread-and-butter institution," when doAvn went the platform and 
everybody on it. It had been built rather high, and not very se- 
cure, and was so surprised with the amount of talent Au.stin had 
displayed that it just collapsed. No damage was done. Every- 
one felt so happy on that beautiful day that they were not going 
1o let a little thing like that mar their pleasure. Ample justice 
was done to the good things that had been prepared to make men 
liappy. P('Oi)l(' came from far niid iicai-. witli ox teams, horse 
icaiiis and on foot. 1o tliat first ••Fourth nf .Inlv " celebration. 


Austin was always an adventurous town, it seems, adding 
a good deal of spice to every undertaking. Austin had been 
chosen the county seat, but we had to steal the records in order 
to get them. These were hid under a bed for safe keeping until 
the excitement had died out. The county treasurer did not know 
what he could do for excitement, but finally decided to burn the 
books. J. E. Willard, deciding to return east (or rather his Avife 
deciding), determined to let his friend, Ed. Ford, have his office 
as clerk of the court. Another man, however, went to Judge 
Donaldson and got his official appointment, feeling quite gay that 
he had for once outwitted someone. But when he wanted the be- 
longings to the clerk's office, those holding them would not give 
them up. Thus some time passed. Finally a plan was made by 
which to get the desk and records, the desk being nothing but a 
table about three feet long with a box containing a few pigeon 
holes. The clerk's office at the time was in Galloway's store by 
the front window, behind the counter. A customer was found 
that would go some night after dark and purchase some goods 
that was kept in the cellar. As one small lamp was the only light 
kept in the store in the evening that light had to be taken to the 
cellar. AVhile the parties were in the cellar with the light, Allen 
Mollison jumped over the counter, which was quite near the door, 
and the "clerk's office" was easily lifted over the counter and 
went to its new home. Everything seemed to be all right, but 
the "seal." That could not be found, and it was some time be- 
fore it was found. Then in some mysterious way it came to light 
again and was hid in a pile of calicoes in ^Irs. Davidson's store, 
till it was thought safe to produce it. 

The first concert given in Austin was by the Sherwood broth- 
ers, assisted by John Hallot, a yoiuig gentleman living in Austin 
at the time. It was given in Headquarters the latter part of July, 
1857. A little later a- family by the name of Baker came and 
gave us a treat in the musical line. So from the first Austin has 
always been called a musical town. 

The women of Austin have always been foremost in work for 
the betterment of our town. How Avell I remember the time when 
a meeting had been called at our house for forming a society, by 
which, in some way, we could earn money to purchase grounds 
for a cemetery. There had been several deaths here and no place 
to bury our dead. The society was formed and called the "Ladies' 
Mite Society of Austin." The men, hearing of what we had done, 
thought it time for them to go to work. This they did, and they 
purchased the ground that is knoAvn as the old part of the 
cemetery. A very small portion up in front was surveyed and 
laid out in lots. The ladies took the work of fencing the ground. 
The men did nothing more towards finishing the survey or lay- 

lllSTOlfY OF :\rOWEI{ COUNTY :50T 

ing out the vest of the blocks. Several years passed. When the 
ladies thought it was time again for them to do something, we 
decided on a day (I think it was a day in September, 1864) for 
work on the cemetery grounds and invited the men to help us. 
We were to give them their dinner and supper. Early in the 
morning of the day appointed one could see men and women 
carrying implements of all kinds, wending their way to the 
cemetery, and all day one could see men and women working, 
the women driving stakes, holding chains, picking brush and 
burning it. The dinner and supper were served across the street 
in the yard belonging to AVilliam Crane. Austin certainly looked 
like a deserted village that day, and the work which the ladies 
begun has been kept up till now we have one of the most beauti- 
ful resting places for one's loved ones "gone before" in Minne- 

Shall I ever forget the day the little company of men, headed 
by Captain Mooers, marched into town ? It was known they were 
coming. A "war meeting" was to be held in the afternoon, and 
I had thought to have my little school dismissed before they ar- 
rived. But when the sound of that "fife and drum" broke upon 
our ears we all rushed to the door, pupils and teacher, and we 
were there ready to receive them. So they came to a halt before 
the door, and it is needless to say they were received with cheers 
and the waving of handkerchiefs from the little band of scholars 
that were there to receive them. 

Before that company of soldiers left town that night their 
numbers had been increased by several of our own townsmen, 
and many will remember that that brave captain was one of the 
first to fall for "his country" in a very few months after going 
to the front. The ladies of Austin purchased a silk flag for the 
company with the names of the donors printed upon its silken 
folds. It has been through many a battle, but never was trailed 
in the dust. It was brought home by the captain, George Baird. 
after the close of the war and is now in Mrs. Baird 's possession. 

The people who lived in Austin in October. 1862. will never 
forget the night we expected the Indians and they didn't come. 
We made great preparations for them and posted our sentinels 
on the outskirts of town. The blacksmiths were running bullets 
all night. A company had just been raised in Austin and the 
towns and country around and had gone to reinforce General 
Sibley, who was then fighting the Indians, so our force of men 
was not as large as it would otherwise have been. We had brave 
ones left, however, and they worked with a will. Nearly all 
thought it not possible for the Indians to got here, but the people 
were coming in so thick and fast, hotel and private houses filling 
and manv would not leave tlieir wagons for fear they would not 


reach them in time to get away. When the Indians did come, 
such a frightened lot you never did see — children were brought in 
half dressed, women with no shoes on, or perhaps one shoe. It 
was enough to frighten anyone, knowing what had just been done 
around New Ulm. Father and mother were away and would not 
return till next day, so sister and I were all alone. We had 
friends that came to stay with us and finally two or three families 
that came to the hotel and couldn't get in wanted to come to our 
house and we were glad to have them. 

Mr. Ackley told me if I could get father's papers and our 
small silver in any shape that wouldn't take up any room I had 
better get them ready; we would want some quilts, he would 
have his horses ready and could take all that was at our house 
if the Indians should come. I put three dresses on my sister and 
three on myself, put the silver and papers into two towels, sewed 
them securely, then put one on Delia (my sister) and I wore one, 
bustle .shape, and in that condition we waited and waited. Three 
shots in quick succession was to be the signal. Sometime after 
midnight the first one came. We were at the door in an instant, 
each with a bundle of silverware. But the other shots were never 
heard and about daylight, after much pleading and many tears, 
I allowed Delia to take off some of her extra adornments. 

And so ended our Indian scare. 

In looking over the past fifty-four years and thinking what 
Austin was and what she is today we feel we can well be proud 
of our little city. We have never had a boom and for many 
years had no railroad. We had a great many things to contend 
Avith, but we have come out of the fray with our banners flying 
and we are a "city of homes." 

Of the J. L. Davidson family that reached Austin on the 
twenty-ninth day of ]\Iay, 1857, only two remain. The rest are 
lying in our beautiful Oak Wood cemetery, waiting. The two 
are : Adella Davidson Mandeville and Alta Belle Albro Sherwood. 




Introduction by Gertrude Ellis Skinner — Story of the First 
Newspaper in the County — History of the Founding, Growth, 
Development and Present Status of the Journals of Mower 

The newspaper of today is the history of tomorrow. Kdilor.-> 
seldom think they write history. Your copy of the local paper 
may be used to wrap the family laundry, cover the pantry shelf 
or be placed under the carpet. In a month from the time a 
newspaper is issued, it would be difficult to locate a single copy, 
but in the newspaper office itself, it has been preserved and placed 
upon file. These files become an asset of the office and increas« 
in value as the papers become yellow with age. Here in the 
musty volumes is found the history of your toAvn, your county, 
your state. The history of this county could not be written were 
it not for the records of newspaper files. The State Historical 
Society recognizes the value of newspaper history and a complete 
file of every newspaper in the state is kept by the Historical 
Society. Inaccurate history, do you say? Perhaps so, and yet 
the most accurate it is possible to get, and infinitely more nearly 
accurate than almost any other historical source. The editor of a 
newspaper not only means to get correct information but uses 
the source method for every important article he prints. Each 
day, if he edits a daily, each week, if a weekly, his effort stands 
before the bar of pul)lic criticism. His critics are those intimately 
concerned in the articles published. They do not trust to memory, 
hearsay, legend or tradition. They are eye or ear witnesses or 
star actors in the passing drama. They surely are trustworthy 
critics. With them the newspaper must pass muster. If facts 
are not stated correctly, they are corrected. What other history 
could stand this crucial test? The newspaper that is not substan- 
tially accurate, cannot and does not live. Time gives authen- 
ticity. Criticism is forgotten, minor inaccuracies overlooked and 
the newspaper record stands as the accepted history of an event. 
A newspaper is not mere gossip. It is a record of passing events. 
Reports of buildings, new industries, biographies, social events, 
religious movements, births, deaths, politics, policies, honors tlial 
come in people, crimes which blacken our record, onward and 
backward moves in pr-ogi-ess, disasters, amusements, accidents, 
epidemii-s — all make up the newspaper liistoi-y of a coimnunit \ . 
It is the niiri-or of life as it is dailv liv.'d here and now. 


The newspaper is everywhere recognized as the adjunct of 
civilization. The new town, however far removed from the busy- 
marts of trade, clamors for a newspaper. Never satisfied until it 
gets one, and never satisfied after it has one. The newspaper is 
the nucleus of criticism for the entire community. Everyone 
knows how it should be run better than the editor. Its policies 
and its literature are criticized and yet people want it and at 
heart are loyal to it, for they recognize its value. They read it 
and M-ant it to push along movements they are interested in. 
A religious revival, county fair, market day, civic improvement 
measures, new policies or politicians — all need the newspaper to 
give them an impetus. The press must arouse the people. 
Through no other avenue can so many be reached. A mass meet- 
ing can touch but a mere handful compared with the numbers 
reached in each issue of a newspaper. 

The more progressive a community, the more they read news- 
papers. Mower county has always been a good field for the press, 
because of the intelligence of its people. There are but few 
families in the entire county where the local newspaper is not 
read. It is an interesting fact that this county has never had a 
newspaper printed in a foreign language. 

Mower county has eight newspapers — seven weeklies and one 
daily. They are : The Grand ^leadow Record, The LeRoy Inde- 
pendent, The Adams Review, The Lyle Tribune, The Mower 
County Republican, The Mower County Transcript, Tlie Austin 
Weekly Herald, The Austin Daily Herald. 


]\rower County ]\Iirror — Mower county had been organized 
about two years before a paper was printed wathin its borders. 
Several etforts were made to secure the establishment of a paper, 
but each failed. Finally, David Blakely, who was then publishing 
a paper called the Pioneer, at Bancroft, Freeborn county, was 
induced to come to Austin and establish the IMower County 
Mirror. The consideration of this removal, it is said, was the 
election of Mr. Blakely to the office of register of deeds of Mower 
county. Bancroft, where Mr. Blakely had been engaged in the 
publication of the Pioneer, was an embryo village, located a short 
distance northwest of Albert Lea. It was then a competitor 
against Albert Lea for the county seat honors, and Mr. Blakely 's 
paper took an active part in the tight which, however, ended in 
the securing of the coveted prize l)y Albert Lea. Early in the 
fall of lsr)S, tli(^ office was removed to Austin, and with the same 
malerial, tin- Mower ('(Hiiity ^lirror was l)rouglit into existence. 
The heatl of liie new paper was delayed in reaching here, and 


for several weeks the paper was issued at Austin, hearing the 
old head, "Bancroft Pioneer." C. H. Davidson rolled the forms 
and set type for the first issue of the Mirror, being then a lad 
of eleven years of age. During the years 1859 and 18()(), Mr. 
Blakely held the office of register of deeds and continued the 
publication of the paper. Finally, early in the fall of 1860, he 
removed the press, type and material to Rochester, and tliere 
established the Rochester Post. 

The Minnesota Courier. — After the publication of the Mirror 
ceased Mower county was without a paper for several months. 
The want of a newspaper, however, was soon supplied by the 
establishment of the Minnesota Courier. The first issue made its 
appearance December 5, 1860, as a six column folio, all published 
in Austin. The founder was B. F. Jones. Among the home adver- 
tisers in the first issue were the following: Attorneys, Aaron 8. 
Everest, Allen & Shortt, D. B. Johnson, Jr., G. M. Cameron. 
Physicians, Drs. J. N. Wheat and Orlenzer Allen; T. J. Lake, 
county treasurer; Piper & Hunt, blacksmiths, J. S. Lacy, hotel; 
S. AV. Rice, blacksmith; H. B. Kimball, painter; G. W. Bishop, 
sherifl!; E. Parleman, jeweler; H. S. Holt, wagon maker; and 
G. "\V. Mitchell, cabinet shop. The publication of the Courier was 
continued until January 4, 1864, when it ceased to exist. The 
editor, B. F. Jones, had gone into the service, and his father, 
William C. Jones, took charge and managed the paper for some 
time previous to the last issue. 

The Austin Register. — The first issue of the Mower County 
Register made its appearance July 2, 1863. H. R. Davidson was 
editor and proprietor. The paper was then a six-column folio 
sheet, all printed at home. The subscription price was .$1.50 per 
year. Among the advertisements in the first issue were the fol- 
loAving: W. Truesdale, farm machinery. Allen & Shortt, Aaron 
8. Everest and H. R. Davidson, attorneys. H. Jacobs, manufac- 
turer and dealer in ready-made clothing. J. S. Lacy, proprietor 
Lacy House ; V. P. Lewis, hardware dealer. Lansing advertise- 
ments : Hartly & Sons, plow manufacturers and blacksmiths. 
"AVestern Home House," S. T. Wells, proprietor. E. F. Arm- 
strong, manufacturer of men's boots and shoes. Brownsdale 
cards: Thomas Allred, boot and shoe store. Heath House, R. C. 
Heath, proprietor. One of the local items in the second issue was 
the following: "AVe want no Jeff. Davis!" H. R. Davidson con- 
tinued the management of the paper until his death, wliich 
occurred ^May 4, 1864. At tliis time C. H. Davidson, a l)r()tliti' 
of the foimder, took charge of the paper, and shortly afterward 
the firm name "C. H. Davidson & Co." appeared at the mast 
liead. In the issue of July 14, 1864, it is announced tliat James T. 
Wheeler, of St. Cliarles, III., had become associated with Mr. 


Davidson in the publication of the Register. The firm became 
Davidson & Wheeler. The new member of the firm did not, how- 
ever, remove to Austin, and in a short time his connection with 
the paper was severed. After this C. H. Davidson continued to 
conduct the Register alone, until August, 1868, when H. 0. Has- 
ford purchased a half interest in the paper, and the firm of David- 
sou & Basford Avas formed. In April, 1871, D. AY. Craig became 
a partner of Davidson & Basford in the publication of the Reg- 
ister. June 29, 1871, the name was changed to the Austin Register. 
Davidson & Basford continued the publication of the Register 
until June 13, 1878, when that firm was dissolved, C. II. Davidson 
selling his interest to H. 0. Basford. After retiring from the 
Register Mr. Davidson purchased an interest in the Transcript. 
In August, 1883, the Register office, with the balance of Basford 's 
brick block, fell to the ground, causing a great loss to all the 
owners. The cause, it is supposed, was the poor quality of stone 
used in the foundation of the building. 

]\Ir. Basford ran the paper alone until January 12, 1899, when 
he took his son Harry into partnership. In 1901 the paper Avas 
leased to S. SAveningsen, then postmaster, who ran it for a year 
AAnth W. 6. Cameron of Winona, as editor. H. 0. Basford & Son 
then resumed management. Mr. Brooks purchased an interest 
and the firm became Basford, Brooks & Basford. INIr. Brooks 
remained but a short time. The next change came Avhen Johu 
Bingham purchased a half interest and the same year the Basfords 
sold their interest to W. J. Tyler. Mr. Bingham retired and I\Ir. 
Tyler ran the paper until May, 1908, AA'hen the Register suspended 
publication. A daily Avas published from December, 1890, until 

MoAver County Republican. — The equipment of the Register 
Avas purchased by Miss Jennie Keith and Paul C. Keith and the 
neAV publication called The MoAver County Republican started 
August 21, 1908, Avith Keith & Keith as editors. The next April 
]\Ir. Keith Avent to Adams to assume charge of the Adams RevicAv. 
Avhich the firm had purchased, and Miss Keith took sole charge of 
the Republican. 

MoAver County Transcript. — This paper made its first appear- 
ance on April 16, 1868, at the village of Lansing. It Avas then a 
seven-column folio, neatly printed and edited. Cohvell Brothers 
AA'ere the publishers, and A. J. Burbank editor. Those were the 
most bitter days in the history of Mower county, and the Avarfare 
of the "Page" and "anti-Page" factions, as they Avere called, 
brought Mower county into notoriety throughout the Avhole West. 
The Transcript Avas started in the interest of the Page faction, and 
the Register assumed the "anti" side. A few years later the 
Transcript changed its vieAvs and both papers vigorously prose- 


ented a common cciiise. A few Aveeks after the first issue tlie name 
of Sherman Page is hoisted at the head of one of the columns as 
editor of the teacher's or educational department. At tliat time 
he was county superintendent of schools. A few months later the 
name of A. J. Burbank was taken from the columns as editor, and 
the Colwell Brothers are stated to have succeeded Mr. Burbank. 
Still later it appears that Prof. J. H. Johnson, Mrs. Maria Doolittle 
and Ella Cook had charge of the educational columns. 

The Transcript was published at Lansing until the issue on 
December 17, 1868, which was dated at Austin, the office having 
been removed to that place. The Colwell Brothers remained in 
charge of the paper until the issue of April 1, 1869, when it 
passed into the hands of Colwell & Boardman. The former, 
A. N. Colwell, was the senior member of the old firm of Colwell 
Brothers. A few weeks after the change of proprietorship the 
paper was enlarged to a nine-column folio. For several months 
during the summer of 1869, the paper was run without any name 
or names at the head of its editorial columns, but finally in the 
issiie on September 30, 1869, the announcement is made that 
"George W. "Wright assumes the editorial and business manage- 
ment." He retired with the issue of November 25, 1869, and was 
succeeded by George H. Otis. At this time the Transcript was 
owned by what was called the Transcript Company. George H. 
Otis, who succeeded Mr. Wright, conducted the paper alone until 
the issue of March 2, 1871, when Col. C. A. Lounsberry secured 
a half interest in the paper, and the firm of Lounsberry & Otis 
was formed. I\Ir. Lounsberry took the editorial and i\Ir. Otis the 
business management. Col. Lounsberry remained with the Tran- 
script until May 25, 1871, when he withdrew. 

After the withdrawal of Colonel Lounsberry, George H. Otis 
continued the management of the Transcript until August 31, 
1871, when the paper was purchased by A. A. Harwood. Mr. 
Harwood owned and conducted the Transcript for a number of 
years. On July 23, 1874, the paper was changed to an eight- 
column folio, having for some years been smaller. During the 
spring of 1877, S. C. Eldred became associate editor and business 
manager. Mr. Harwood had become postmaster of the Austin 
office, and ^Ir. Eldred, who had been foreman of the office, was 
taken into partnership. His connection with the paper in that 
capacity, however, was brief, and IMr. Harwood again assumed 
sole charge. In this shape the paper was continued until the issue 
on June 13, 1878, when the paper and outfit was purchased by 
C. II. Davidson and J. N. AVheeler, and the name of th<' firm 
Davidson & Wheeler appears at the head of the columns, succceit- 
ing lliat of A. A. Harwood. ^Ii-. Harwood was a treucliant writer 


in one of the stormiest political periods in the county's history. 
He died at Washington, D. C, August 17, 1884. 

Davidson & Wheeler conducted the paper until January 2, 1879, 
when C. H. Davidson purchased his partner's interest. ^Ir. 
Davidson sold to Parke Goodwin and C. L. Barnes Decemher 17, 
1886, and they sold to S. S. Washburn and N. S. Gordon of 
Waseca, April 1, 1887. The paper was changed January 14, 1S87, 
to its present form of eight pages, six columns. Mr. AYashburn 
sold his interest to Mr. Gordon December 25, 1889, and Mr. 
Gordon erected the two-story brick block on Mill street, still occu- 
pied by the Transcript. In April, 1891, the Transcript became 
all home print. October 16, 1893, Mr. Gordon sold a half interest 
to C. D. Belden and devoted himself to the mechanical depart- 
ment. ]Mr. Belden bought out Mr. Gordon December 10, 1898, 
and has since been editor and sole proprietor. 

The Austin Herald. — In 1881 the Mower County Democrat 
was first issued, with Campbell & Hunkins as editors, Mr. Camp- 
bell, whose home was in Spring Valley, running a Spring Valley 
department. In May, 1890, A. B. Hunkins, who was then running 
the paper alone, conceived the idea of issuing a paper every 
Saturday evening and delivering it by carrier to the various 
homes in the city. The plan was to be tried for three months 
and the subscription price 25 cents. The paper mXist have 
proved popular, for on November 9, 1891, the Austin Daily 
Herald was issued. It was printed in a large room, on the second 
floor of the brick building, corner of Water and Main streets. In 
August, 1892, F. H. McCulloeh bought a half interest in the job 
department. Mr. Hunkins secured a site at the head of Main 
street and erected a small frame building of peculiar style of 
architecture, which was the home of the Herald until 1890, when 
a lot was purchased on Lansing avenue and a three-story brick 
veneer building, 16x24, erected. Mr. Hunkins was appointed post- 
master and Mr. McCulloeh ran the paper for one year, from Jan- 
uary, 1895, to January, 1896. During this time the daily issue 
was discontinued and only the weekly edition, the IMower County 
Democrat, issued. 

On January 13, 1896, F. H. McCulloeh bought the job depart- 
ment and C. F. Ellis and Frank Roble the newspaper. The pub- 
lication of the Daily Herald was resumed and under different 
ownership has been published continuously since. October 1, 
1897, John H. Skinner, of Holyoke, Massachusetts, bought Frank 
Roble 's interest and for a year and a half Ellis & Skinner were 
owners and publishers. Under their management the politics of 
the paper changed from Democratic to Independent Republican 
and the name of the weekly publication was changed from the 
IMower County Democrat to the Austin AVeekly Herald. 


July 1, 1899, Mr. Skinner became sole owner by purchase of 
Mr. Ellis's interest and ran the paper with his wife, Gertrude 
Ellis Skinner, as associate editor, until December 1, 1907, when 
Fred C. Ulmer purchased a half interest and under the owner- 
ship and management of Skinner & Ulmer both publications of 
the Daily and Weekly Herald are at present issued. 

The Herald has outgrown its quarters, which were ample ten 
years ago, and has built a new building of cement stone, includ- 
ing the old building and exactly twice its size. Two type-setting 
machines (Typogx'aphs) have replaced hand composition and a 
new Duplex "Web Perfecting Press has been installed. 

The success of the Herald has demonstrated that a newspaper 
can be run independent of the financial aid of politicians or a 
political party, as the Herald has never taken money in politics, 
and therefore claims its title of Independent with some pride. 

The Austin Democrat. — This newspaper was first issued July 
8, 1868. The founders were Isaiah Wood and Milo Lacy. The 
paper was an eight column folio sheet, all published at home and 
Democratic in politics. The firm of Wood & Lacey continued the 
publication of the Democrat until February 23, 1870, when Milo 
Lacey, on account of ill health, withdrew from the firm, and was 
succeeded by a Mr. Cook. 

On October 11, 1870, Isaiah Wood, the senior editor of the 
Democrat, after a prolonged illness, died of quick consumption, 
aged a little over twenty-eight years. In November, Milo Mc- 
Whorter purchased the Wood interest in the Democrat, and the 
firm became McWhorter & Cook. In a short time, however, Mr. 
McWhorter became sole proprietor and conducted the paper alone, 
until its publication was suspended. The last issue was that of 
July 12, 1871. 

The Independent. — This paper was established at Austin on 
August 26, 1874, by B. F. Jones, formerly editor of the Minne- 
sota Courier, as editor and publisher, and G. W. Haislet, pro- 
prietor. The publication of this paper was continued until May, 
1875, when it died. 

The Mower and Fillmore County Republican. — The Mower 
County Republican appeared August 27, 1875, printed at Preston, 
Minn., with T. F. Stevens as editor and A. E. Meigs, business 
manager. Five or six weeks thereafter Maj. W. A. Hotchkiss re- 
moved the Fillmore County Republican to Austin, and consoli- 
dated with the first named paper, as the Mower and Fillmore 
County Republican. 

The Austin Times. — The Times was started in June, 1895, by 
Tom Hutchinson, who ran same as "Hutchinson's Times" until the 
first of February. 1896. when he deserted the paper. The plant 
was purchased under cliiittrl mortgage foreclosure by S. II. Ilar- 


rison, who then took possession of the paper and plant, issuing the 
first number February 22, 1896. He remained as its proprietor 
from then until February, 1903. During this time it was for two 
years the official paper of Mower county and also issued from the 
same plant a morning daily for about six months — from May, 
1901, until November of the same year, when the plant was 
burned. In February, 1903, E. B. Kottek and John Jensen be- 
came the editors and proprietors by sale and published the same 
until the fall of the same year, when the publication and the plant 
became the property of the holder of the mortgage, Ira Padden. 

The LeRoy Independent. — This newspaper was founded by a 
man named Haynes in 1875, as the "LeRoy News." He continued 
it for about six months and sold to C. B. Kennedy, who was its 
editor and proprietor for three years and then leased the office to 
James A. Henderson, who managed it a year, with C. F. Burdick 
as assistant for about three months. J. S. Bishop then purchased 
the office and operated the same nearly three j'^ears, and then sold 
to J. McKnight, who took possession April 16, 1883. After J. 
IMcKuight there were several changes. Then came S. C. Wheeler, 
B. T. Barnes and A. E. Pennell, successively. William M. Frank, 
John Frank and C. F. Hambrecht then owned the paper for a 
while. They sold to S. E. Brouson, and after him came Harlan 
G. Palmer, Avho in February, 1908, sold to Ralph Prescott, the 
present editor. 

Grand Meadow News. — The first newspaper at Grand ]\Ieadow 
was called the News. It was started in 1878, by the Dunlevy 
Brothers, who came from Lansing, Iowa. It was Republican in 
politics; a bright, newsy sheet, and for some time received sub- 
stantial encouragement. It Avas run at Grand Meadow for about 
two years, when it was removed to Lansing, Iowa. 

Another paper, also called the News, was later established in 
Grand Meadow. It was started in the spring of 1880, by M. V. 
Scribner, a photographer. He ran the paper for about one year, 
then removed it to Fairmont; and later to Wells, Minnesota. 

The Grand Meadow Record. — This publication had its first 
issue in Grand Meadow in December, 1882. L. G. Moore founded 
this journal. The early files have not been preserved. Bert A. 
Johnson is the present editor of the paper. 

Grand Meadow Mercury. — In the spring of 1880, B. F. Lang- 
worthy & Son established the Grand Meadow Mercury. They 
conducted it here for a little over one year, then removed it to 
Austin. In the early summer of 1882 the paper was removed to 
Spring Valley, Fillmore county, and the name changed to Spring 
Valley Mercury. 

Brownsdale Journal. — Voliiiiic 1, nuiiil)er 1 of this six column 
folio, made its appearance July 1, 1884. Rosa E. Moore was 


editress and assistant manager, lier husband, L. G. Moore, being 
the owner and manager. 

The Brownsdale Leafllet.— On August 6, 1890, B. A. Johnson, 
son of M. B. Johnson, Avith a small hand lever press and a few 
fonts of type, launched forth the first issue of the Brownsdale 
Leaflet, size 9x12. It was later enlarged. On July 1, 1891, the 
News outfit, a paper whose life was but three months, was pur- 
chased from J. W. Burchard and the paper enlarged to a six 
column folio. On October 1, 1892, L. L. Quimby moved from New 
Richmond, Wisconsin, and purchased a half interest and the 
paper was enlarged to a five column quarto. On June 1, 1893, 
Mr. Quimby purchased a half interest with B. E. Baldwin in the 
hardware and implement business, which interest he held until the 
following March, selling to D. L. Tanner. About a month later, 
April 19, Mr. Quimby purchased Mr. Johnson's interest in the 
Leaflet and conducted it alone until May 17, 1907, when he was 
forced to give it up on account of his growing telephone business. 
Since that time Brownsdale has had no paper. 

The Lyle Tribune, an independent paper, is printed and pub- 
lished at Lyle by Wm. Nordlaud. The paper was established in 
1893. Elmer T. AVilson Avas one of the early editors. The paper 
was published by John Gould & Co. from 1896 until January 1, 
1902, when sickness forced him to retire from business. At that 
time the paper was leased to Mr. and Mrs. R. Ferris, w^ho managed 
it until July of the same year, when Chas. Gould & Co. took charge 
of the paper, until December 1, 1902, when it was purchased by 
the present owner. The printing office has been located in various 
parts of the village, but never had a permanent home until No- 
vember 1, 1909, when the present building was purchased. In 
the early years of the paper an old Washington hand press and a 
few fonts of type was the equipment, but in 1907 a cylinder press 
and gasoline engine were installed, Avhieh, together with the other 
modern equipment that had been added from time to time, put the 
plant on a substantial basis, enabling it to turn out the work re- 
quired by the thriving village in which it is located. Under the 
present management the circulation of the Tribune has nearly 
doubled, and the .job department has become one of the strongest 
features of the plant. 

The Adams Review. — The Review is the youngest of the 
Mower county newspapers, and was established in 1897 by V. "W. 
Sabin. Two years later W. F. St. Clair of Nebraska, acquired an 
interest in the paper. Mr. St. Clair increased the business and 
subscription list of the paper considerably and enjoyed an excel- 
lent patronage. In 190(5 he sold the plant and business to K. L. 
Niles, and in April, 1909, 'Slv. Niles disposed of the property to 
Keith & Keith, who are also owners of the Mower County Re- 


publican, Austin. Paul C. Keith is the resident editor and man- 
ager, and is well supported by the enterprising business men of 
Adams. The Review aims to furnish all the local news that is 
news, and has a large list of subscribers in southern Mower 
county. The paper gives evidence of a continued prosperous 

Alumni Altruist. — When interest in the Austin High School 
Alumni Association began to wane, Ida Smith Decker conceived 
the plan of publishing a paper to be circulated among the absent 
as well as the local members of the association, the paper to con- 
tain greetings and news from the various classes and graduates. 
Mrs. Decker was the author and editor of the first edition, Avhich 
was published ready for the annual alumni meets in June, 1901. 
It served its purpose admirably and interest was at once awak- 
ened. It has been published every year since with the exceptioii 
of 1903. The omission was so marked and the call for the paper 
so insistent that at every alumni meeting since a fresh, crisp copy 
of the Altruist has been the central attraction. Unlike some of 
our county publications, it has always been self-supporting. 

Copies are mailed to members all over the country. It is the 
only publication of its kind in the state and has done more to 
make the association a success than any other factor. 

The following have served as editors: 1901, Ida Smith Decker, 
'81 ; 1902, Etta Barnes Decker, 79 ; 1904, Gertrude Ellis Skinner, 
'81 ; 1905; Ada Morgan Crane, '92 ; 1906, The Todd Sisters, '99, 
'02, "04 ; 1907, George E. Anderson, '93 ; 1908, Grace Kimball, '95 ; 
1909, Fred C. Ulmer ; 1910, Stella Slaven; 1911, Lucile Gilbertson. 

Among the newspapers of the county started Avithin the last 
decade, which lived but a few months and then ceased publica- 
tion are: "The Racine Recorder," "Rose Creek Rose Bud" and 
"Austin "Weekly Journal." For several years "The Dexterite" 
was published in Dexter and then for lack of patronage sus- 
pended publication. 




His Proud Achievements — His Solemn Oath — His Ethics — The 
True Physician — His Reward — His Delicate Relation to the 
Human Family — His Inventions and Discoveries Free Gifts — 
The Pioneer Doctor — His Character and Services — His 
Limitations — The Pioneer Physicians of Mower County — The 
Mower County Medical Association — Edited by A. W. Allen, 
M. D. 

"j\Ien most nearly resemble the gods when 
They afford health to their fellow men." 

In an age when, in tlie combat of man against man, heroes are 
worshiped according to tlie number 'they slay in battle, it is 
inspiring and eleA'ating to be permitted to pay tribute to the meii 
who Avon glory in fighting disease and through whose devotiori 
and skill thousands of useful lives have been saved and been 
made happy. 

"For every man slain by Ca?sar, Napoleon and Grant in all 
their bloody campaigns, Jenner, Pasteur and Lister have saved 
alive a thousand." The first anfesthetic has done more for the 
real happiness of mankind than all the philosophers from Socrates 
to Mills. Society laurels the soldier and the philosopher and 
practically ignores the physician. Few remember his labors, for 
what Sir Thomas Browne said three hundred years ago is surely 
true: "The iniquity of oblivion blindly scattereth her poppy and 
deals with the memory of men without distinction to merit to 

"i\Iedicin(^' is the most cdsinopoiitan of the three great 'learned' 
professions. ]\Iedicines never built a prison or lit a fagot, never 
incited men to battle or crucified anyone. Saint and sinner, 
white and black, rich and poor, are equal 'and alike when they 
(U'oss the sacred portals 'of the temple of Aesculapius." No other 
secular profession has ever reached such a consciousness of duties 
Avhich it corporately owes to the rest of the woi'ld. ^Vhat are the 
principles which a profession, more profuse in its disinterested 
charities than any other profession in tlie woi'Id lias established 
for its guidance? 

It was about 2,300 years ago that the ])ractitioners of the, art 
of healing liegan to take an oath eiiipliasizing the responsibilities 
whieli the nobility and lioliness of the art imposed upon them. 
Hippocrates, forever to be revered, gave the oath his name. AVheii 


a Greek physician took the Hippocratie oath and a graduate of 
the modern medical school takes it, the act is one not only of 
obligation for himself, but of recognition of a great benefactor 
of mankind. Tlie Hippocratie oath assumes that when a man 
has learned the art of restoring the sick to health he has passed 
into a realm in Avhich the rules of personal selfishness are imme- 
diately abridged, if not expunged, and recognized in a system 
of principles and rules governing all licensed physicians, and 
enforced and respected by high-toned and cultured gentlemen — 
a standard of professional honor so sacred and inviolate that no 
graduate or regular practitioner will ever presume or dare to 
violate it. 

Robert Louis Stevenson, seeing the life of the medical man 
only from without, Avas not far wrong when he spoke of the 
modern scientific medical man as probably the noblest figure of 
the age. The noble and exalted character of the ancient profes- 
sion of medicine is surpassed by no sister science in the mag- 
nificence of its gifts. Reflecting upon its purity, beneficence and 
grandeur it must be accorded to be the noblest of professions. 
Though the noblest of professions, it is the meanest of trades. 
The true physician will make his profession no trade, but will 
be accurate in diagnosis and painstaking in prescribing. He will 
allow no prejudice nor theory to interfere with the relief of 
human suflfering and the saving of human life; and will lay 
under contribution every source of information, be it humble or 
exalted, that can be made useful in the cure of disease. He will 
be kind to the poor, sympathetic Avith the sick, ethical toward 
medical colleagues and courteous toward all men. 

The true physician is he who has a proper conception and 
estimation of the real character of his profession; whose intel- 
lectual and moral fitness give weight, standing and character in 
the consideration and estimation of society and the public at 
large. His privileges and powers for good or for evil are great; 
in fact no other profession, calling or vocation in this life occu- 
pies such a delicate relation to the human family. 

There is a tremendous dcA'eloping and educating power in 
medical work. Tlie medical man is almost the only member of 
the community who does not make money out of his important 
discoveries. It is a point of honor with him to allow the whole 
world to profit by his researches when lie finds a new remedy 
for disease. The greatest and best inedical and surgical discov- 
eries and inventions have been free gifts to suffering humanity 
the moment their value was demonstrated. The reward of the 
physician is in the benefit which the sick and helpless receive, and 
in the gratitude, which should not be stinted, of the community 
at large. Medical men are not angels; they are in fact very 


(nimau cveaturt'S with haul work to do, tmd often many mouths 
to feed; but tiiere is a strain of benevolence in all their work. 
From the beginning they are taught a doctrine of helpfulness 
to others, and are made to think that their lifework should not 
be one in whicli every service must receive its pecuniary reward. 
The physician is a host in himself, a natural leader among his 
fellow men, a center of influence for the most practical good, an 
etiflcient helper in times of direst need, a trusted and honest 
citizen. What more can any prophet ask than honor in his own 
country and a daily welcome among his ow^n friends ! 

It does not take long for the waves of oblivion to close over 
those who have taken a most prominent and active part in the 
affairs of the day. The life of the pioneer doctor is no exception 
to this law, for as. Dr. John Browne tells us, "It is the lot of the 
successful medical practitioner to be invaluable when alive, and 
to be forgotten soon after he is dead, and this is not altogether 
or chiefly from any special ingratitude or injustice on the part of 
mankind, but from the very nature of the case." However, the 
pioneer physician still lives in the memory of many of us, though 
he is now more rare as an individual than in the years gone by, 
and is gradually passing out of existence. The history, written 
and xinw^'itten, of the pioneer physician of Mower county, as 
elsewhere, presents him to view as working out the destiny of the 
wilderness, hand in hand with the other forces of civilization for 
the common good. He was an integral part of the primitive 
social fabric. As such he shared the manners, the customs, the 
aims, and the ambitions of his companions, and he, with them, 
was controlled by the forces which determine the common state 
and the common destiny. The chief concern of himself and com- 
panions was materially engaged with, the serious problem of 
existence. The struggle to survive -was, at its best, a competi- 
tion Avith nature. Hard winters and poor roads were the chief 
impediments. Only rough outlines remain of the heroic and 
adventurous side of the pioneer physican's long, active and 
honored life. The imagination cannot, unaided by the facts, 
picture the primitive eonditons with which he had to contend. 
Long and dreary rides, by day and night, in summer's heat and 
winter's cold, through snow, and mud, and rain, w^as his common 
lot. He trusted himself to the mercy of the elements, crossed 
unbridged streams, made his way through uncut forests, and 
traveled the roadless wilderness. He spent one-fifth of his life 
in his conveyance, and in some cases traveled as many as two 
hundred thousand miles in the same. 

Dr. Oliver "Wendell Holmes has graphically described the old 
doctor's daily routine: "Half a dollar a visit — drive, drive, 
drive all day: get up in the night and harness your own horse — 


drive again ten miles in a snowstorm; shake powders out of a 
vial — drive back again, if you don't happen to be stuck in a drift ; 
no home, no peace, no continuous meals, no unbroken sleep, no 
Sunday, no holiday, no social intercourse, but eternal jog, jog, 
jog in a sulky." 

He always responded to the call of the poor, and gave freely 
his services to those who could not pay without hardship. "Who 
can narrate the past events in the life of such a man ? His deeds 
were "written upon the tablets of loving and grateful hearts, 
and the hearts are now dust. The long and exhausting rides 
through storm, or mud, or snow; the exposure to contagions; 
the patient vigils by the bedside of pain; the kindly deeds of 
charity ; the reassuring messages to the despondent ; the shield- 
ing of the innocent; the guarding of secrets; the numberless 
self-abnegations that cannot be tabulated, and are soon for- 
gotten, like the roses of yesterday." Wealth did not flow into 
the old practitioner's coffers; in fact, he needed no coffers. He 
was a poor collector, and with all his efforts he obtained but 
little, and never what was his due. As an offset to the generally 
acknowledged abilities of the old doctor in every other line of 
his Avork, it must also be admitted that he was greatly deficient 
in business tact. Often content with the sentiment of apparent 
appreciation of services rendered to his patrons, of lives saved, 
of sufferings assuaged, and of health restored, he was too easily 
satisfied with the reflection that he had a very noble profession, 
but a very poor trade. 

Though poor in purse, he was rich in heart, in head, and in 
public esteem. He made at least a very measurable success ot: 
life, if success consists in being of some small use to the com- 
munity or country in which one lives ; if it consists in having an 
intelligent, sympathetic outlook for human needs ; if it is success 
to love one's work ; if it is success to have friends and be a friend, 
then the old doctor has made a success of life. 

He was a lonely worker, and relied largely on his own unaided 
observation for his knowledge. Isolated by conditions of liis 
life, he did not know the educating influences of society work. 
He was a busy man, with little leisure for the indulgence of liter- 
ary or other tastes. He possessed, however, what no books or 
laboratories can furnish, and that is: a capacity for work, willing- 
ness to be helpful, broad sympathies, honesty, and a great deal 
of common sense. His greatest fame was the fealty of a few 
friends; his recompense a final peace at life's twilight hour. He 
was a hardworking man, beloved and revered by all. He was 
discreet and silent, and held his counsel when he entered the 
sick-room. In every family he was indispensable, important, and 
oftentimes a dignified personage. He was the adviser of the 


family in matters not always purely medical. As time passed, 
the circle of his friends enlarged, his brain expanded, and his 
heart steadily grew mellower. Could all the pleasant, touching, 
heroic incidents be told in connection with the old doctor, it 
would be a revelation to the young physician of today; but he 
can never know the admiration and love in which the old doctor 
was held. "How like an angel light was his coming in the 
stormy midnight to the lonely cabin miles away from the nearest 
neighbor. Earnest, cheery, confident, his presence lightened the 
burden, took away the responsibilitj', dispelled the gloom. The 
old doctor, with his two-wheeled gig and saddle bag, his setous, 
crude herbs, and vet?esections, resourceful, brave and true ; busy, 
blunt and honest, loyally doing his best — who was physician, 
surgeon, obstetrician, oculist, aurist, guide, philosopher and 
friend — is sleeping under the oaks on the prairies he loved so 

"We shall ne'er see his like again, 

Not a better man was found. 

By the Crier on his round. 
Through the town." 

The early history of the pioneer physician is naturally a 
story of feeble resources. His professional limitations were, 
therefore, necessarily great. To enable us to understand these 
limitations we must take a retrospective glance at the condi- 
tions of medicine sixty years ago. Imagine, if you can, the for- 
lorn condition of the doctor without our present means of 
physical diagnosis, without the clinical thermometer, the various 
specula, the hypodermatic syringe, the ophthalmoscope, the oto- 
scope, the rhinoscope, the aspirator, and many other similar 
instruments; without the aid of hematology, of anaesthetics, of 
antisepsis, of the modern microscope, without our laboratories 
and experiments, our chemistry, our bacteriology, our roentgen 
rays, our experimental pharmacology, and our antitoxins — with- 
out anything except his eyes, his ears, his lingers, his native vigor 
and resourcefulness; then we can appreciate the professional 
limitation of our fathers, appreciate no less the triumphal marcli 
of medicine during a single lifetime. It requires no prophet's 
power to foretell the fact that the science of medicine stands at 
this hour upon the threshold of an era which will belittle all 
the past. In this most wonderful era of the world's history, this 
magic age, the science of medicine is rapidly being elevated into 
the position of one of the bulwarks of society and one of tlie 
mainstays of civilization. It made possible the building of the 
Panama canal, made Havana a clean city, and diminislied the 
possibility of introducing yellow fever among us. It has kept 


cholera in check, pointed out the danger of bubonic phiguc 
through the rat-infested districts of San Francisco, and it uow 
urges that the government shall maintain sentinels to guard the 
gulf coast from yellow fever, the ^Mississippi from cholera, the 
whole United States from bubonic plague. It also discovered the 
stegonyia as a yellow fever carrier, and the rat and ground 
squirrel as plague distributors. 

The medical history of Mower county begins with J. C. Jones, 
Avho located in LeRoy township in the spring of 1855. His wife 
was also a physician. They remained until 1866 and then re- 
moved to Missouri. 


The pioneer physician of Austin was that venerable practi- 
tioner of the kindly old school, Dr. Orlenzer Allen, who came in 
April, 1856, and practiced until 1870, when he removed to Wiscon- 
sin, where he lived until the time of his death, April 5, 1883. He 
was born at Alfred, New York, in 1830, and located in "Wisconsin 
in 1842. His medical education was received at the Rush I\Iedical 
College, at Chicago, from which institution he graduated in 1856. 
Dr. Allen was an ideal country physician, kindly, self-sacrificing 
and able. His twin brother, Ormanzo, was also a prominent figure 
in Austin and Mower county in an early day. The next physician 
to locate in Austin was Dr. J. N. Wheat, a homeopath. He came 
in September, 1856. Dr. Wheat was born in Old Hadley, Massa- 
chusetts, January 16, 1818, spent his boyhood in New York and 
Ohio, and graduated in medicine at Buffalo in 1852. He became 
one of the foremost citizens of Mower county. Dr. S. P. Thorn- 
hill came in tlie winter of 1869-70. He was born in Rockingham 
county, Virginia, March 21, 1821, and studied medicine at West 
Carlisle, Ohio. He served as regimental and brigade surgeon in 
the Civil war, and subsequently c^me to Austin, where he died 
in 1879. Dr. Hiram L. Coon graduated from the Rush Medical 
College in 1855, came to Austin in 1856, remained a few years 
and then moved to Northfield. Dr. W. C. Jones came to Austin 
during the Civil war, practiced a few years and died about 1879. 
He was the father of B. F. Jones, at one time a newspaper editor 
and politician of Austin. Dr. W. L. Hollister came to Mower 
county in 1867, lived at Lansing a while, and then came to Austin 
in 1871. He still resides here. Dr. 0. W. Gibson came to Austin 
in February, 1867. He was born in Tioga county, Pennsylvania, 
in 1839. During the C^ivil war he served in both army and navy 
as surgeon. Dr. James P. Squires came to Austin in 1873. He 
was born in Livingston county. New York, in 1825, and graduated 
in medicine at Buffalo, New York, in 1851. He was an array sur- 
geon and came here from Faribault county, this state. Dr. 


Thomas Phillips, a homeopath, came in May, 1882. He was born 
in Canada, graduated from the University of Chicago in 1880 and 
later from the Hahnemann Medical College in the same city. Dr. 
Ellen M. Fairbanks, wife of Alonzo Fairbanks, came to Austin 
Avith her husband in 1859. In 1881 she graduated from the 
Woman's Medical College at Chicago. A Dr. McDonald, a grad- 
uate of McGill University, Montreal, practiced here a few years 
in the early eighties. Dr. C. H. Johnson came to Austin, June 16, 
1884. He was born in Canada, in 1855, graduated from McGill 
University, Montreal, and came here at once. With this the story 
of the earlier physicians of Austin ends, those coming since 
the middle eighties being numbered among the comparatively 
modern physicians of the city. 


Brownsdale was the home of a number of physicians at an 
early day. Dr. Hunter came to Brownsdale in the fall of 1871 
and died the following year. Dr. Eryhmy came from Preston, 
Minnesota, in the spring of 1871 and remained until the spring 
of 1874, Avhen he went to California, where he died a few years 
later. Dr. Bidell, another early physician, stayed in this county a 
year or so, either in Brownsdale or Grand Meadow, and then went 
to the Dakotas. He was a graduate of the Chicago Medical 
school. Dr. A. S. Britz came in 1876 and stayed until 1880. He 
was born in Indiana, March 1, 1844, served in the Civil war, and 
graduated in medicine at Chicago. After leaving here he went 
to Clearwater, Minnesota. Dr. Hall came from Preston in 1876 
and after remaining a iew months went to Lake City. Dr. Mink- 
ler, who graduated in medicine in Canada, came here in 1875, but 
in a short time returned to Wisconsin. Dr. Dodd, a graduate of 
the Rush Medical College, Chicago, came in 1880. In 1882, owing 
to failing health, he went to California, where he died. Dr. David 
Ivyto, Avho had graduated in medicine at Indianapolis, practiced 
here a short time in 1883. Dr. C. S. Beaulieau came in 1880 ; Dr. 
Gray in 1883; Dr. Johnson in 1884; and Dr. Foward in 1884. Dr. 
G. W. Gray was born in 1851 and came to Minnesota in 1877, 
practicing in Grand iMeadow until 1883, when he came to Browns- 
dale. Dr. Frank M. Johnson was born in AVisconsin in 1854. He 
graduated from the Rush Medical College in the class of 1882, 
and came to Brownsdale in the fall of 1883. 


Dr. R. Simmons was tlie tirst pliysician in Dexter. Tie came 
1873. ri'iiiaiiicd a t'l-w vears. lhcii vcturiicd to Indiana, liis 


former home. He was a graduate of the Cincinnati Medical Col- 
lege. The next physician to locate here was L. D. Johnson, who 
afterward moved to Grand Meadow. Dr. McCormick practiced 
here for a while and then moved to the Dakotas. 


The first physician at this point was Dr. Samuel Jenks, who 
came in 1872. He was a native of New York, and a graduate of 
Rush Medical College, Chicago, class of 1872. He was a well edu- 
cated successful physician. He remained till 1880, when he moved 
to the Dakotas. The second physician was Dr. Wilder, who came 
in the fall of 1876, and was associated with Dr. Jenks, both in 
practice and in the drug business. He removed to Iowa City in 
1878. He came from Wisconsin and was not a regular graduate 
in his profession. Dr. 0. A. Case came to Grand Meadow in 
1877.. He removed from here in 1878. Dr. Remington came in 
the winter of 1881 and left the following summer. Dr. L. D. Jack- 
son located in Grand Meadow in March, 1879. He was born in 
Vermont in 1851, and graduated from the Rush Medical College 
in 1877. Upon coming to this county he practiced in Dexter be- 
fore coming to Grand Meadow. 


Dr. Obadiah Wheelock, the first physician in Rose Creek, was 
born in New York in 1828, graduated in medicine at New York, 
and came to Rose Creek in 1872. He belonged to the eclectic 


Dr. Josef Allays was the first to practice medicine in Lansing. 
He came in 1857 and settled in section one. He was a Catholic 
priest, and combined the duties of priest, physician and farmer. 
He moved from here to Chicago. Dr. R. Soule came in 1865. His 
career is told elsewhere. Dr. Lafayette, a Frenchman, came to 
Lansing from Red Wing, in the fall of 1866. He was of the 
eclectic practice. After remaining here three years he went to 


Dr. Jones came here from Pennsylvania in 1855, and settled 
on the Joe Mason farm. When Dr. Alsdorff came he gave up 
practice and in 1866 went to IMissouri, where he took up farming. 
Dr. G. M. Alsdorflf. an eclectic, came to LeRoy in 1864. He was 
born in Pennsylvania, November '^4, 1824, and there remained 


C. LECK, M. D. 


until coming to Minnesota. When the new village was laid out, 
in 1867, Dr. Alsdorff opened an office, and the following year 
moved to the new location. Dr. Bingham, a graduate of the Rush 
JMedical College at Chicago, practiced for a short time and then 
went to Lanesboro, where he died of smallpox. Dr. E. J. Kings- 
bury came from Decorah in 1869. He Avas born in New York state 
in 1832, and in 1854 graduated from the American Medical Insti- 
tute at Cincinnati. In 1855 he came to Mower county, preempted 
land in Bennington township, assisted in the organization of the 
town and became a prominent citizen. Subsequently he prac- 
ticed in Spring Valley and Decorah before coming to LeRoy. Dr. 
Corbitt came from Michigan in 1868, and remained here at inter- 
vals until his death in 1880. He was an allopath, and graduated 
in medicine at New York. Dr. C. W. Thrall came here from 
Wisconsin and entered into partnership with Dr. Kingsbury. He 
was a regular and a graduate of the Rush Medical College, Chi- 
cago. From here he went to LaCrosse. In the spring of 1880, 
Dr. F. C. Davy came here and became a partner of Dr. Alsdorff. 
After leaving here he attained considerable distinction as a chem- 
ist. In the spring of 1881, Dr. Aldenkirk, a homeopath, came 
here. Later he went to Iowa. 


The first physician to locate in Lyle was Dr. A. Truane, who 
came in 1870. He moved from Lyle to Wisconsin. Dr. Tanner, a 
homeopath, came in 1870, and made a short stay. In 1881, Dr. M. 
6. Gordon, of Montreal, located here. He remained but a short 


In the preceding paragraphs has been related the story of the 
early physicians of Mower county. The present-day physicians 
are nobly following in their predecessors' footsteps. The Mower 
County Medical Association was organized October 3, 1902. The 
meeting was called to order by Dr. W. S. Fullerton, state or- 
ganizer, and Dr. C. A. Hegge, the former being made temporary 
chairman and the latter temporary secretary. The officers elected 
were: President, AVilliam Hollister; vice president, W. F. Cobb; 
secretary, C. A. Hegge ; treasurer, G. F. Schottler. The physicians 
present at the organization were : A. W. Allen, 0. H. Hegge, C. 
A. Hegge, William Hollister, W. H. ]\IcKenna, F. Kimball Fiester. 
C. F. Lewis, II. F. Pierson, E. H Washbrrn-Rodgers, O. C. Marck- 
lien, George W. Gray, G. J. Schottler, W. W. Freeman, W. F. Cobl) 
and W. A. Frazer. Since then the presidents have been: 1903. 


William Cobb ; 1904, A. E. Henslin ; 1905, H. F. Pierson ; 1906, G. 
J. Schottler; 1907, W. A. Frazer; 1908, C. C. Leek; 1909, M. J. 
Hart; 1910, C. F. Lewis. The society has done much to sustain 
the ethics of the profession, to promote the sanitation of the 
county, to protect the health of the community and to guard 
against charlatanry in all guises and forms. The society is now 
constituted as follows : President, C. F. Lewis ; secretary, Clifford 
C. Leek, Austin; other members, A. W. Allen, Austin; W. F 
Cobb, Lyle; A. N. Collins, Austin; W. A. Frazer, Lyle; G. W 
Gray, Brownsdale; M. J. Hart, LeRov; C. H. Hegge, Austin; 
H. Hegge, Austin ; A. E. Henslin, LeRoy ; C. H. Johnson, Austin 
R. S. Mitchell, Grand Meadow ; Homer F. Pierson, Austin ; G. M 
F. Rogers, Austin; G. J. Schottler, Dexter; E. V. Smith, Adams 
P. T. Torkelson, Lyle. 

Other physicians in the county are : F. E. Daigneau, Austin 
"VV. H. McKenna, Austin; Alb. Plummer, Racine; C. B. Lynde, 
Rose Creek, and H. L. Baker, Waltham. 



Outbreak of the War — The First War Meeting in Mower County — 
Newspaper Clippings of Stirring War Events — List of Veterans 
Who Enlisted from Mower County, with History of Their 
Regiments — Honor Roll of Mower County Heroes Who Laid 
Down Their Lives for the Union — Col. Henry C. Rogers and 
His Record.— By Col. A. W. Wright. 

When President Lincoln issued his call for 75,000 of the mili- 
tia of the several states to maintain the Union April 15, 1861, 
Mower county was but six years of age, as an organized county, 
and had a population of less than 3.500, all pioneers in a new 
state which became a part of the Union less than three years be- 
fore the outbreak of the war. It was a cruel time to take the men 
from field, store, shop and home. They had little on which to de- 
pend save the labor of their hands, and their families needed 
them. But an attack had been made on Fort Sumter, the flag 
of the Union had been fired upon, and the hearts of these hardy 
patriotic men and women were fired. 

At this time Alexander Ramsey, governor of Minnesota, 
chanced to bo in Washington and immediately sought Secretary 


Cameron, and in writing tendered 1,000 soldiers from Minnesota in 
defense of the government, which offer was presented to the presi- 
dent and by him accepted. The governor telegraphed these facts 
to the adjutant general of the state, with orders to make a call 
for troops. The call, however, did not reach Mower county in 
time for any of her sons to be included in the first regiment, except 
Allen Mollison, who is believed to have been the first man to en- 
list from Mower county. 

The people were busy breaking farms and building homes and 
villages, and the magnitude of the secession movement was not 
realized. While the Minnesota Courier, the only paper published 
in Mower county, was filled with war news in every issue, the 
vital need of men to defend the union did not strike home to 
]\Iower county men until the fall. The Courier of May 8, 1861, 
contained the information that about twenty-five of the young 
men of Austin and vicinity had enrolled their names in response 
to their country's call, but no names were given in the published 
article. In June of that year, H. B. Kimball, Fred McCormick 
and William Mills enlisted in the Mantorville company. 

The first real war meeting in Mower county was held at 
"Headquarters," September 4, 1861. At about the same time 
Captain White, of Freeborn county, was in Austin, with the 
proposition that if Mower county could not raise a full company 
that the two counties unite. However, it was decided that Mower 
county could raise a full company, and the meeting for this pur- 
pose was accorded much enthusiasm. The meeting was called to 
order by Ormanzo Allen, and Milo Frary was elected chairman. 
On motion of L. A. Sherwood, B. F. Jones was named as secre- 
tary. Capt. R. P. Mooers made a speech, and on liis motion a 
committee of ways and means was appointed as follows : W. B. 
Spencer, J. W. Fake, J. P. Jones, G. W. Bishop, Ormanzo Allen, 
S. W. Bostwick, J. Stewart, A. D. Brown, H. H. Heartley, George 
Conkey, E. S. Moodey and John Rowley. Ormanzo Allen, J. W. 
Fake and 6. W. Bishop were appointed a central county com- 
mittee, and J. W. Fake was empowered to procure speakers to 
make a tour of the county. The following recruiting officers were 
appointed: R. P. Mooers, Lyle ; J. P. Jones, Nevada; W. B. 
Spencer, LeRoy ; G. W. Bishop, Austin ; Lewis Hardy, Frankford ; 
J. W. Stewart, Racine; A. D. Brown, Red Rock; A. J. Clark, 
Brownsdale; H. C. Rogers, Udolpho; H. Hartley, Lansing; W. 
Reed, Pleasant Valley; H. Irgins, Adams. 

As a result of this meeting a military company was raised 
and a meeting of the volunteers held October 13, 1861. B. F. 
Jones was elected chairman, and R. P. Mooers, secretary. The 
company was authorized to elect a first lieutenant, and the first 
ballot resulted in eighteen votes f(n- W. B. Spencer, ten for G. W. 


Bishop, and one for R. P. Moores. On the next ballot, Mr. Spencer 
was elected over G. W. Bishop by a vote of 22 to 8. 

On the morning of Tuesday, October 15, 1861, the military 
company that was afterwards known as the Mower County 
Guards, Co. K, Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, left 
Austin, thirty-two strong, with the intention of joining the Third 
Regiment at Fort Snelling. Before departing the boys were ad- 
dressed by Rev. Stephen Cook. The personnel of the company 
was as follows : First lieutenant, W. B. Spencer ; privates, R. P. 
Mooers, P. E. Jenks, George Carrier, William Gifford. Henry 
Loomis, William Pace, Kobert P. Tifft, Marion Lyle, A. C. Smith, 
James Morrison, A. J. Clark, Augustus Rose, Thomas Edelman, 
Samuel Parks, James Gray, Samuel Shutz, I. N. Morrill, George 
Mail, V. W. Houghton, T. J. Bishop, W^ H. Bullock, Brayden 
Lincoln, John Frank, Samuel Surface, Horace Barber, S. C. 
Matthews, H. B. Bourgard, E. E. Earl, Eugene Parmeter, Nathan 
M. Thomas and Soloman Tallaman. Of the above I. N. Morrill and 
Hon. John Frank, at least, are still living. 

During the week of October 23, 1861, several of the men 
came home on parole, five or six of them being under age, and 
seeking the written permission of their parents or guardians. At 
about this time the company was increased by the enlistment of 
Charles Hiuit, George Baird, Caleb Powers, William "Whitford, 
Charles Smith, Samuel Clayton and A. C. Houghton. The name 
Mower County Guards was given by General Sanborn. 

September 10, 1862, the Mower County Rangers had been 
organized, transferred to the Seventh Regiment and sent against 
the Indians. The original officers were: Captain. H. C. Eogers; 
first lieutenant, E. W. Ford; second lieutenant, L. A. Sherwood; 
orderly sergeant, M. "Whitford. 

On October 15, 1862, a letter was received in Austin from 
Captain Mooers of Co. K, Fourth Minnesota Volunteer In- 
fantry, announcing the battle of luka, September 20, and the 
wounding of George S. Hutchinson, Aaron B. Morse, Isaac 
Dczotell, John E. McCun, Saul M. Milhollin and Martin Kiefer. 
On October 3, 1862, before this letter reached Austin, Captain 
Mooers was killed at the Battle of Corinth. He was born in New 
York, came west in 1855, and gave up his profession as an en- 
gineer for farming in Lyle township. He was commissioned cap- 
tain of the Mower County Guards and killed in action. 

January 6, 1863, the county commissioners divided Mower 
county into eight military districts as follows : 1 — Adams and Ne- 
vada. 2 — Lyle, "Windom and Austin. 3 — Lansing. 4 — Red Rock 
and Udolpho. 5— Pleasant Valley and Grand Meadow. 6— Ra- 
cine. 7 — Frankford and Bennington. 8 — LeRoy. 

May 12, 1863, the military election under the military act took 


place at Browusdale, and resulted as follows: Colonel, B. F. 
Langworthy, Grand Meadow; lieutenant coloned, P. G. Latiu)- 
reaux, of Lansing; major, Ornianzo Allen of Austin. 


The newspapers of the period give us a true picture of con- 
ditions dm-ing the Civil war, and for that reason the following 
clippings relating to war affairs are here reproduced : 

Minnesota Courier. — September 4, 1861. Contrabands in 
Town. On Friday last v,'e learn that two negroes — fugitives 
from Missouri — passed through town on their way to Canada. 
They were mounted on horses, which they took from their mas- 
ters to assist them on their journey. Those who saw them say 
they Avere fine looking fellows, and worth, perhaps, in Missouri 
from eight to twelve hundred dollars each. 

November 27, 1861. Flag for Mower County Guards. The 
material was purchased in St. Paul by Mrs. B. F. Lindsey and 
Mrs. J. L. Clark, is all silk, and is said by the lady who made it 
up, and who has furnished several other companies, to be the 
finest one and manufactured of the best materials. The Guards 
promised to send it down by some of the company during the 
winter provided they remained at the fort and were not ordered 
south. On receiving the flag Mr. Martin, on behalf of the com- 
pany, Captain Mooers being absent, received the flag and re- 
turned the thanks of the company in a brief and appropriate 
speech, which was responded to by the company with three rous- 
ing cheers for the ladies of Austin, and the burning of the usual 
amount of powder. "We think it no more than right that the 
ladies, who have given their time and energy in raising the 
money, by soliciting subscriptions to furnish the company with 
a flag, should at least receive a passing notice from us, and the 
thanks of our lady friends generally. We are of the opinion that 
if Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Lindsey had not taken the matter in hand, 
our company would today have been without a flag. They have 
done their part well, and from what we know of the ladies of 
Austin they will not soon be forgotten. The cost of the flag was 

August 6, 1862. Volunteering and Being Drafted. A volun- 
teer receives the full bounty — $25 advance bounty, one month's 
pay ($1.3) in advance, and $75 at the end of his time of service, 
together with the usual 160 acres of bounty land. Besides all 
this his family receives pecuniary assistance during his absence 
The drafted militia receive but $11 per month, and no money 
bounty. They can be held to service out of the state three 
months by order of the governor. Let no one, however, deceive 


himself with the idea that drafted sokiiers will serve only threi' 
mouths, for after the militia are drafted, Congress can easily 
hold them to serve during the war. 

August 13, 1862. "Private Bounty. Grand Meadow, August 
7, 1862. I will give to every volunteer that may join any com- 
pany noAV forming in this county from Pleasant Valley, Grand 
Meadow, Eacine, Frankford and LeRoy, a bounty of $2 for single 
men, and to every married man five bushels of wheat for the use 
of his family, extra. Volunteering to be from this date to 
August 31. Respectfully, B. F. Langworthy." 

August 20, 1862. The citizens of Adams township have raised 
by private subscription, $142, to be paid in cash on or before two 
months, provided, however, this bounty will prevent drafting in 
Adams to-^vnship. 

Capt. E. W. Ford left this place on Saturday last for Fort 
Snelling with upwards of seventy men, all from this county, to 
be mustered into the United States service imder the call for 
600,000 men. Mower county will furnish her quota without re- 
sorting to a draft. On Sunday last four more started for the fort 
to join Mr. Ford's company, and we hear of several others who 
are ready to go, provided they can get into the company from 
this county. 

The war meetings which have just been held at Austin, Frank- 
ford and Brownsdale were well attended, and the result is that 
Mower county has almost raised her quota. The three towns 
above named we believe are now exempt from the draft. The 
town of Lansing is awake and will this week, in all probability, 
raise the quota of that to"\vn. It is time for the other towns 
to be looking out if they expect to escape the draft. 

September 3, 1862. The draft is postponed until October 3. 
* * * When we get the 600,000 men into the field who are 
now organizing for the war, thus swelling our grand army to 
over a million, we can sweep the rebels from the face of the earth 
in a month or two. We can then form a solid column of bayonets 
and cannon, reaching almost from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, 
and by one determined "forward march," drive all the traitors 
and rebels down into the gulf, like a drove of frightened swine. 
It will be a privilege to belong to that great army of the Union — 
a glorious thing to think of and talk about after the war, and 
for your children to be proud over through coming generations. 
"I was a soldier in the army of the Union that saved the Re- 
public," will be as proud a title to the respect of your country- 
men and of the world, as now is the claim of those few remaining 
veterans who can say, "I was a soldier in the army of the Revolu- 
tionary war. and fought under Washington." 


Mower County Register. March 2, 1865. The draft hangs by 
a liair ! At any moment it may descend upon us. How shall wo 
avoid it? By going into the army in person or by proxy; by going 
ourselves or sending substitutes. Where volunteering goes on 
briskly, the draft will not reach; where volunteering ceases, the 
conscription will be ordered to commence. Rouse, then, and let 
us make every exertion, and exert every energy for the recruit- 
ing of our army. By sundry alterations at the Provost Marshal's 
office, the town of Austin has to furnish under the last call for 
300,000 thirteen men. "We learn further that movements are now 
progressing for the purpose of raising a town bounty as an in- 
ducement to volunteer. 

July 21, 1864. News from the boys of Company C, Ninth 
regiment : Through the kindness of Mrs. Stephen Chandler we 
have been shown a letter from her husband, which enables us to 
secure knowledge of the whereabouts of our liberty-defending 
patriots. Mr. Chandler is a prisoner in Meridan, Mississippi. 
Those of Company C yet prisoners are : Capt. E. W. W. Ford, A. 
Avery, J. Clark, William Breckon, Ludoviso Bourgard, A. 
Wheeler, Duane Philes, C. Steward, J. Woodbury, S. H. Ames, AV. 
Lyons, Conrad W. McCaskill, I. Bisgrove, E. Rice, W. Rice, C. D. 
Rhodes, T. H. B. Vandegrift, John Barnett and Stephen N. 

January 28, 1864. Promotions. The following worthy promo- 
tions have been made in the Fourth regiment : First Lieutenant 
S. T. Isaac to be captain ; First Lieutenant D. L. Wellman to be 
captain ; First Lieutenant C. C. Hunt to be captain ; Second Lieu- 
tenants Orlando Graham and S. W. Russell to be first lieutenants ; 
Orderly Sergeant C. W. Douglass to be second lieutenant. 

In the same issue the announcement is made that Co. K, 
of the Fourth Minnesota regiment, has re-enlisted for "three 
years or during the war" — every man except two. The following 
is a list of members who re-enlisted : Captain — Charles C. Hunt. 
First Lieutenant — C. W. Douglass. Sergeants — Geo. Baird, Mar- 
ion R. Lyle, V. W. Houghton, Samuel M. Clayton. Corporals — 
R. S. Perkins, Stephen Maxon, John Mullen, S. E. Morse, A. M. 
Kenniston. Privates— W. H. H. Bullock, Henry B. Burgor, F. H. 
Belot, N. Barnes, A. Chapel, Jacob II. Epler, N. Frost, McConnell 
Fitch, John Frank, A. C. Hursh, A. O. Hollister, P. E. Jenks, M. 
Kiefer, W. S. Kimball, S. Mathews, C. Powers, E. A. Parker, John 
Rochford, S. Giflft, Geo. Thernott, Solomon Tallman, E. A. Whit- 
comb, 0. H. Wiley. Up to this time, January, 1864, Mower county 
has furnished 275 men for the service. Geo. Baird became first 
lieutenant of the company, and for a considerable time had com- 
mand of the company. 



Mower county has a precious relic in the shape of a battle- 
stained flag, carried through the Civil war by the valiant Co. 
K, of the Fourth ]\Iinnesota Volunteer Infantry. ]\Iany ]\Iower 
county people contributed for its purchase, and the silk was ob- 
tained in St. Paul by Mrs. B. F. Lindsey and Mrs. J. L. Clark, 
who went to St. Paul by stage to buy a flag, but finding none 
purchased silk ribbon and made one. It was presented to the 
company at Fort Snelling, before the regiment was ordered 
south. Following are the names of the men and women who con- 
tributed to the purchase of the flag: F. D. Lewis, Fernald ]\Ior- 
gan, William Simpson, L. A. Sherwood, Ian Osdel, H. Sutherland, 
J. L. Smith, L. Stone, M. Graves, E. Chapin ; the Mesdames G. W. 
Bishop, R. L. Kimball,. S. W. Paul, E. Parliman, J. S. Lacy, J. Bo- 
dine. J. Stage, H. Allen, 0. Allen, S. Smith, L. Hunt, G. W. 
Mitchell, J. L. Davidson, H. I. Holt, W. W. Cook, J. H. Mclntire, 
AV. Brown, H. Jacobs, W. L. Kimball, Q. E. Truesdell, George 
Baird, J. B. Niles, Wm. Hunt, E. W. Ford, L. Piper, A. Galloway, 
D. B. Johnson, R. 0. Hunt, B. F. Jones, O. Allen, E. D. Fenton, 
G. M. Cameron, O. Somers, T. J. Lake, L. N. Griffith, A. S. Everest, 
J. C. Ackerly, J. W. Fake, C. J. Shortt, J. B. Yates, G. H. Bemis, 
B. F. Lindsaj^, J. L. Clark, and the Misses Hattie Adams, Philenda 
Deming, A. J. Wheat, A. B. Albro, Lizzie Johnson, A. Loomis. 

The flag was carried through the following engagements: 
1862 — Siege of Corinth, INIississippi, May ; Battle of luka, Missis- 
sippi, September 19; Battle of Corinth, Mississippi, October 3 and 
4. 1863 — Port Gibson, Mississippi, May 1 ; Forty Hills, ]Missis- 
sippi. May 3; Raymond, Mississippi, May 12; Jackson, Mississippi. 
May 14 ; C^hampion Hills, Mississippi ; Vicksburg, ]\Iay and June ; 
Mission Ridge, Tennessee, November 24 and 25. 1864 — Altoona, 
Georgia, October 5 ; Savannah, December. 1865 — Columbia, 
South Carolina, February 17 ; Bentonville, North Carolina, ]\Iarch 
20 and 21 ; Raleigh, North Carolina, April 14. Upon the company 
being mustered out of the service, this flag was placed in the 
keeping of Lieut. Geo. Baird by a vote of the company as a token 
of the regard of the members of the company for him, for many 
of whom he had been a personal friend, adviser and comforter, 
also because of his conspicuous gallantry and bravery in the field. 


When the news of the fall of Vicksburg was received at 
Austin, a grand jubilee meeting was held at Headquarters hall, 
on \hv cvciiiiig of .Inly 10, 18(i3. J. 11. C. AVilson was caUed to 
the chair, and T. .1. Lake ajjpointcd secretary. Speeches were 


made by Revs. Parker, Tiee, Clark and Lake, also by Colonel 
Lewis, of the Twenty-eighth Wisconsin, who had just returned 
from the "seat of war," and Judge Ormanzo Allen. Colonel 
Lewis' speech was most interesting. Fresh from the army and 
having endured all the hardships of the war, he could talk as 
soldiers only can talk on such occasions, and his remarks pro- 
duced the wildest enthusiasm. He closed by saying "Copper- 
headism is worse than secession among the soldiers. When his 
comrades found he was coming north, each said, "Kill a copper- 
head for us!" Amid much enthusiasm the following resolution 
was adopted: "Resolved, That the soldiers of the Minnesota 
Fourth, always in the advance, and always victorious, have 
achieved for themselves honor and glory worth more than all 
the achievements that can be possibly made by the greatest and 
most distinguished civilian in the land, in the capture of Vicks- 
burg — the Sebastopol of Rebeldom." 


In this connection has been compiled from the adjutant-gen- 
eral's report, the names of the soldiers, who enlisted from Mower 
county. If any are omitted, it is not intentional, for great care 
has been exercised in collecting this matter, and none have 
greater veneration for the brave soldier than the compilers of 
this volume. As the only possible way to ascertain the where- 
abouts of each soldier, is to depend upon the official reports as 
published under authority of the state, any mistakes in spelling 
names or the omission of them entirely, should be charged to 
such official reports. 

Mower county was represented in the Union army as follows : 


Allan Mollison, so far as known the only member of this regi- 
ment from ]\Iower county, enlisted in Company G. When the call 
came for volunteers, Allan Mollison was a blacksmith in Austin, 
and the sole support of a widowed mother. He walked alone to 
Owatonna and there joined others. Then all walked to Fari- 
bault, to enlist in a company raised by Captain McCune. They 
marched thence to Fort Snelling and INIollison was mustered into 
service as a private in Company G, First ^Minnesota Volunteer 
Infantry, on his twenty-fifth birthday, April 29, 1861. He was 
afterward promoted to corporal. 

The Fii-st Regiment was hurried on to Washington, and took 
part in the first Battle of Bull Run. It was here that Mr. ^[olli- 
•son first showed that daring which made him the idol of his com- 
pany. In the retreat of the regiment. Captain ^FcCune was shot 


down. The regiment reformed later and the battle was resumed. 
Between the firing lines lay the wounded captain. Volunteers 
were called to go out amid the hail of bullets and bring back 
the captain. At once, Allan Mollison, the sturdy blacksmith, 
responded. He ran out across the shot-torn field, raised the 
wounded captain, and brought him safely to his company. The 
wound received by Captain MeCune was a fatal one, however. 
Mr. Mollison saw as much real war as any man in the army. 
The battles of the First Minnesota are a part of the history of 
the nation, and in them all he took his share. He was at Balls 
Bluff, where General Baker was killed, went through the penin- 
sular campaign with McClellan, and fought at South IMountain, 
Antietam, the Wilderness and Gettysburg. After Gettysburg he 
was transferred to the First United States Cavalry, was in Gen- 
eral Grant's campaign as far as Cold Harbor, and accompanied 
General Sheridan in his raid through the Shenandoah valley. 
He was wounded live times and was a prisoner at the rebel prison 
of Belle Island for three weeks. He served three years and four 
months. He was born in Airdrie, Scotland, April 29, 1836, and 
died at Austin, Minnesota, July 6, 1906. His brother Thomas 
was killed in the Union service and his brother Edwin served and 
was killed as a colonel in the Rebel cavalry. 


This regiment was organized in July, 1861, and originally 
commanded by Horatio Van Cleve. Ordered to Louisville, Ken- 
tucky, in October, 1861, and assigned to the Army of the Ohio. 
It was engaged in the following marches, battles, skirmishes and